Rutherford County Sheriff's Office

  • Agency: Rutherford County Sheriff's Office
  • Address: 940 New Salem Highway, Murfreesboro, 37129 TN
  • Chief:
Phone: (615) 898-7720
Fax:

Rutherford County Sheriff's Office is located at 940 New Salem Highway, Murfreesboro, 37129 TN. The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office phone number is (615) 898-7720.

Rutherford County Sheriff's Office News

Hoekstra earns Officer of the Month from Ford of Murfreesboro A sheriff’s narcotics detective earned Officer of the Month honors for leading an investigation to seize about $1.3 million worth of Xanax made in a clandestine lab in April. Detective Mike Hoekstra received a watch from General Manager Jason Borowski of Ford of Murfreesboro for his efforts. Borowski said, “Hoekstra’s assertiveness and initiative has been proven diligently through his extensive efforts of keeping our community safe and clear of illegal narcotics. I want to thank him for committing himself to his job and I wish him nothing but great success in the future.” Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said Hoekstra’s extensive investigation shows the Sheriff’s Office’s commitment to combatting the illegal drugs coming into Rutherford County. “What we are finding in illegal Xanax is that in 89 percent of the cases statewide, the deadly synthetic drug fentanyl is mixed into the pills,” Fitzhugh said. “We will continue in our efforts to fight to keep these drugs out of Rutherford County.” The case began in January when a U.S. Postal inspector provided information to Hoekstra about suspicious packages, believed to contain narcotics, being shipped out of Murfreesboro to multiple locations throughout the U.S. In February, packages shipped by the Rutherford County suspects were intercepted by law enforcement and contained 8,300 dosage units of Xanax with a street value of $41,500. Because of Hoekstra’s investigation, the Xanax pills were recovered during a search warrant April 9 at two locations by sheriff’s detectives, the U.S. Postal Inspectors, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration Tactical Diversion Squad, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents and Food and Drug Administration officers. They seized more than 58,000 Xanax pills, selling for $5 each, and one pound of pure Alprazolam powder, when mixed with binding agents, would produce 200,000 dosage units of Xanax. Narcotics Detective Sgt. Tony Hall said due to Hoekstra’s investigation, $50,000 additional dosage units of the Xanax, due for delivery in California, were also recovered from an additional parcel. “Detective Hoekstra has taken the initiative to start a very successful investigative niche within the narcotics unit working package/parcel cases,” Hall said. “While the Xanax case is a great example of his hard work and dedication, it is just a drop in the bucket of what his diligence has done for this community.” Photo: General Manager Jason Borowski of Ford of Murfreesboro, right, presents a watch to Capt. Britt Reed in behalf of Officer of the Month Detective Mike Hoekstra. At left is Major Bill Sharp. Hoekstra works in a confidential capacity.

Do you recognize us? These men may be possible suspects in an aggravated burglary in the Manchester Highway area. If you have information about them, please call Detective Steve Craig at 615-904-3071 and leave a message. We thank you for your help.

Franzel promoted to detention corporal Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh, right, promotes Detention Cpl. William Franzel, center. At left is Detention Capt. Chris Fly. Franzel will help supervise the first shift detention staff. He joined the sheriff's office two years ago. He has seven years of experience in corrections.

Rising 6th graders gain knowledge during Junior Deputy Camp Andrea Campbell, 11, wanted to know about law enforcement and safety during the annual School Resource Officer’s Junior Deputy Camp. “I thought it was cool for me to know and learn about safety so if I am in a situation, I will know what to do,” Andrea said. “If they know self-defense, they can take care of themselves and see their family for a long time.” Andrea was about one of 140 Rutherford County rising 6th grade students who will attend a middle school next year. She and fellow students spent the week learning about bullying, bicycle safety, investigations, fire safety, Internet safety, K-9s and radKIDS. The students toured the Adult Detention Center Friday before graduation. SRO Capt. Brad Harrison said the Junior Deputy Camps teach children about the duties of law enforcement and responsibility and how to build trust with law enforcement. The camp is related to Community Oriented Policing where the School Resource Officers build rapport with students and parents. The SROs spend time with him beyond what the students see in school and on the street. “We are letting them see the officers care about them and show our dedication to the youth of this county,” Harrison said. “The camp is also a chance to build self-esteem and leadership qualities.” Andrea enjoyed the radKIDS self-defense training because the officers taught students ways to protect themselves. Each student had a chance to practice the training one-on-one with an SRO while being coached by another SRO about hitting hard and knowing when to run away. After the session, SRO Kerry Nelson told the students everyone hit hard. “I saw great moves,” Nelson said. SRO Jeff VerBruggen reviewed the lessons. “What is your No. 1 defense?” VerBruggen asked. “Our voice,” the students replied. The lessons impacted Andrea. “I won’t forget any of this,” Andrea said with confidence.

Preparing for 6th grade More than 70 students from the southern part of Rutherford County learned about law enforcement and safety Thursday during the annual Junior Deputy Camp. School Resource Officers taught students about personal safety. Smyrna Police K-9 Officers Don Godby and Andrew Schaefer demonstrated how their K-9 partners search for illegal drugs in vehicles. SROs sponsor the camp annually to rising 6th graders to transition from elementary school to middle school.

Enjoying Junior Deputy Camp About 72 rising 6th graders learned about safety from School Resource Officers during Junior Deputy Camp at John Colemon School in Smyrna. They heard about the Sheriff's Office drone use, criminal evidence, Internet safety and fire safety. Afterwards, Smyrna Fire Department treated the students to a stream of water during the hot day. Students are also training at Barfield Elementary School.

Do you recognize these men? One white man with a ponytail reaching past his shoulders entered this truck and stole property about 3 a.m. May 24 on Janzen Court. This man was about 6-foot-1 and weighed about 160 pounds. He was accompanied by another shorter white man. They were in a compact car believed to be a Nissan Sentra or Toyota Corolla. If you have information about them, please call Sheriff's Detective Sedric Fields at 615-904-3094.

Do you recognize these men? One white man with a ponytail reaching past his shoulders entered this truck and stole property about 3 a.m. May 24 on Janzen Court. This man was about 6-foot-1 and weighed about 160 pounds. He was accompanied by another shorter white man. They were in a compact car believed to be a Nissan Sentra or Toyota Corolla. If you have information about them, please call Sheriff's Detective Sedric Fields at 615-904-3094.

Three family members killed, husband takes own life Three family members were killed and husband took his own life Monday, the second domestic-related murder-suicide in 12 days in Rutherford County, said Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh. Wife Cassidy Ganey, 25, of Rivercrest Drive, her father, Kenny Adair, 55, and her stepmother, Shelly Lorenz Adair, 48, were fatally shot before Sean Ganey, 29, apparently killed himself, the sheriff said. The Ganeys young child was “moved out of the home and the child was not harmed,” Fitzhugh said. “This is a very tragic situation we see far too often,” Fitzhugh said, later adding, “Unfortunately, this is the second time in a short period of time. I think it’s a tragic, tragic event.” Another husband killed his wife in a murder-suicide May 16 in the county. “Two in the last two weeks is two too many,” Fitzhugh said. Dispatchers received the call about 3:30 p.m. of shots fired at the 1132 Rivercrest Drive home in the Cascade Falls subdivision. Deputies and a nearby Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper made a tactical entry to the home because of the nature of the call. They found the four victims deceased. A handgun was found in the bedroom with all four people. “There is no danger to the community,” Fitzhugh said. “This was contained to one house.” Detectives were still talking to family members and witnesses. “It may have been the possibility of divorce that may have led to this,” Fitzhugh said. Deputies responded Friday to the home after the husband threatened suicide. He was taken for medical treatment. A family member removed the firearms from the home. “I don’t think this is anything you ever get used to,” Fitzhugh said of the deaths.

Deputies check impaired drivers, seat belt use during holiday An infant and a young mother lost their lives to traffic crashes within the last four days in Rutherford County. They are among 12 people who have died from traffic crashes this year in Rutherford County. Seven of those people were not wearing seat belts. Four people who died were riding motorcycles. Rutherford County deputies hope to prevent more deaths and crashes through enforcement and education, especially during the Memorial Day holiday. Patrol Cpl. Michael Rodgers said deputies are participating in the statewide “Click It or Ticket” campaign to encourage drivers to wear their seat belts every time they travel for their own safety. “In a serious crash, if you are ejected, the likelihood of you being seriously injured or killed is increased,” Rodgers said. Also, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office will pay deputies overtime to get impaired drivers off the roads during the Memorial Day holiday and through June 3. Many people who plan on drinking are using Uber or Lyft ridesharing services to transport them instead of driving and endangering themselves and other drivers. With the summer approaching, traffic fatalities increase because of more students driving while out of school, people taking vacations and going on the lake and drinking and driving. “Please be more careful about driving,” Rodgers said. “Do things to try to combat impaired and distracted driving such as not texting and driving and wearing seat belts. And be patient with other drivers.”

Walter Hill Elementary School has gone not to the dogs, but to the chickens and pigs. Principal Helen Campbell endorsed School Resource Officer Erica Brinkley’s idea to raise chickens at school so students could learn about raising animals with the motto “getting back to the basics.” “We’re teaching students the basics of where eggs come from and taking care of animals,” Campbell said as she pets the silky hen, Marge. “We are building responsibility.” But they’ve found extended benefits as well. Campbell allows children to pet one of the gentle chickens to calm anxiety. One shy student seems reluctant to talk to the teachers but will talk to the chickens. “We hope to use the chickens as therapy to keep kids calm,” Campbell said. Special needs pre-school students and behavior intervention students help feed the chickens. “It’s pretty cool and just relaxing,” Campbell said. Brinkley became the school’s SRO in January. Since SROs are encouraged to get involved in students’ activities, she thought they might like the animals also used as a petting zoo. “The kids get their hands dirty and learn to do things for themselves,” said Brinkley. She initially raised the chicks in her office, then moved them into a coop a teacher provided. Fifth graders Andrea Campbell and Riley Sims became enthusiastic. “When Officer B first got them, we were freaking out,” Andrea said. “They were palm-sized. We got used to them.” “One of the chicks, HeiHei, jumped out of the pool and went around the school,” Riley said. Other students became involved when each house of students (based on the Harry Potter books) named their own chickens. As the program grew, a parent donated a set of pot belly pigs named Harry and Hermione after the Harry Potter characters. Campbell, Andrea and Riley discussed researching where the pigs originated. The chickens and pigs are housed in coops in a fenced-in area where children can watch them during recess. The pigs created their own mud puddle where they wallow. Students watch the animals for classroom lessons. They now hope someone will donate a bottle-fed goat that will eat the grass. Brinkley recycled items to build coops. A teacher worked out an arrangement where Lascassas Feed Store donates the food. Students raised $286 for supplies and a teacher obtained a $500 BEP grant. Brinkley applied for a grant from the Rutherford County Soil Conservation. During the summer, Brinkley will foster the chickens at her home with her husband and five children where she raises chickens. The pigs will be fostered at the assistant principal Laura Heath’s home. When school resumes after summer break, Brinkley hopes the students will plant simple crops like butternut squad and fall flowers for a plant and vegetable sale. In the spring, she hopes the students will raise tomatoes and peppers for a “fruits of our labor salsa party.”

Stewartsboro Elementary School student Zackary Bilyeu received an award Thursday for his bravery when his mother experienced a medical emergency in September. Dispatcher Aaron Cope, who took the call, said Zackary knew his address and gave information so responders could assess his mother’s condition while driving to the home. “What stood out was this young man was extremely brave and extremely courageous,” Cope said. Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said Zackary displayed maturity and bravery in calling 911 for help. Photo: Student Zackary Bilyeu of Stewartsboro Elementary shows his award and certificate for bravery in calling 911 for an emergency. From left are Assistant Principal Vanessa Ritter, Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh and Dispatcher Aaron Cope.

Corrections Officers thank businesses, churches and individuals Correctional officers at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center celebrated National Correctional Officers Week May 6-12. We were honored Deputy Director Will Wall of the Tennessee Correctional attended lunch prepared by Bishop Jimmy Tyson and his Holy Smoker barbecue truck. Tyson is also a part-time inmate case worker. We thank the many restaurants, churches and individuals who donated food for our staff of 160 correctional officers and the nursing staff. Sponsors donating food were: • EMedRX • Fuzzy Tacos • LifePoint Church • Mission BBQ • Outback • Dr. Daniel Rudd • Vend Engine • Summit Food Service • Slick Pig • Waffle House • Donut Country • Bishop Jimmy Tyson of Rockvale Independent Church in Christiana • First Baptist Church of Murfreesboro • New Vision Baptist Church • Capt. Chris Fly and Lt. Josh Cope • Cornerstone Church

Thank you, Donut Country Deputy Chief Egon Grissom enjoys a donut from #DonutCountry. Donut Country donated several dozen donuts to the Sheriff's Office for National Police Week May 13-19. Co-owner Bo Davis, a former sheriff's detective, left a personal note for patrol officers in their squad room.

Thank you The Banks at West Fork Deputy Andy Pugh receives bags of snacks from Melissa Riveria of The Banks at West Fork in honor of National Police Week. Our officers thank you for treating us.

Brent Dement, left, talks with Deputy Chief Egon Grissom, center, and Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh about his great-grandfather, Constable Abner Dement who was killed in the line of duty in 1878. Constable Dement was shot and killed by a suspected horse thief when Dement started to arrest him in August 1878. Constable Dement's name was inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this year after Grissom researched his death and forwarded information to the memorial staff.

Tom Clark, center, of La Vergne's Fun Fair, donated a check to the Rutherford County Sheriff's Special Projects. Accepting the check are Deputy Chief Bernard Salandy, left, and Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh. The donations will be used for the volunteer Senior Citizens Awareness Network and the Explorer 106 Post. The Sheriff's Office thanks Clark and the La Vergne Fun Fair for the donation.

Couple die in likely domestic shooting with 2-year-old son in house A couple died after an apparent domestic violence shooting with their 2-year-old son inside their Annadel Court home Wednesday night, a sheriff’s detective said. Patrol deputies found the bodies of Anthony Gaunichaux, 47, and his wife, Amanda, 36, inside their home, said lead Detective Angela Hall. “She appeared to be the victim of a fatal shooting,” Hall said. “The husband died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.” Sheriff’s dispatchers received the 911 call just after 10 p.m. “While dispatchers were on the phone, they heard shots fired over the phone,” Hall said. Responding patrol deputies made contact with the husband who placed the couple’s son outside. Deputies cared for him in a patrol car. “Almost immediately, patrol deputies heard the sound of a gunshot and deputies entered the home where they found the husband and wife both deceased,” Hall said. “The child was not physically harmed during the incident and is being cared for.” Detectives commended patrol deputies for the way they handled the situation under the stressful circumstances. Patrol deputies respond daily to domestic violence calls. “If you are in an abusive relationship, please seek help,” Hall said. “If you know someone who is involved in an abusive relationship, please encourage the person to seek help. Due to the cycle of domestic violence, abusive relationships rarely improve without professional help.” People abused in domestic relationships may obtain victim services through the Domestic Violence Center by calling 615-896-2012.

Avoid scams: Sheriff's Office doesn't ask for money for missing jury duty Scammers claiming to be Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Keith Lowery tricked a county resident of about $8,000 Wednesday. The scammer called the resident, identified himself as Chief Lowery and claimed a warrant was issued for the resident because he failed to respond to a summons to serve on jury duty. The resident was tricked out of the money. Lowery said the scammers use this scare tactic. They portray themselves as a police officer calling about an arrest warrant and intimidate the citizen into giving money. “A Sheriff’s Office will never take bail or fines over a telephone,” Lowery said. If you receive a call about missing jury duty or having an arrest warrant, do not give anyone money in these instances. Simply hang up. Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said these calls are simply scams. “The Sheriff’s Office will never call you and ask for money for missing grand jury,” Fitzhugh said. “If you receive a call like this and have questions, call the Sheriff’s Office at 615-898-7770 for information.”

National Police Week remembers fallen officers, present officers Thirty-four law enforcement officers and six K-9s died in the line of duty this year in the U.S. During National Police Week, we remember these officers and the previous officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives while protecting our communities. We extend our heart-felt sympathy to their co-workers and survivors, who share in the sacrifice. We hope those 34 officers are the last ones to lose their lives. And we honor and thank the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office deputies, our law enforcement partners in the county and law enforcement officers throughout the nation who serve and protect their communities every day.

Constable killed in 1878 honored at National Police Memorial A Rutherford County constable who died in the line of duty in 1878 was memorialized this year on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. Constable Abner Dement, who was shot by a suspected horse thief Aug. 19, 1878, was formally remembered during the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil Sunday night during National Police Officers Week in Washington. Rutherford County Sheriff’s Patrol Cpl. Stephen Lewis and Detention Sgt. David Hutsell represented the county at the vigil. Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said Deputy Chief Egon Grissom and county historian Greg Tucker found several newspaper accounts naming Dement as a constable when he was shot. “We are comfortable in saying that Abner Dement was a constable in Rutherford County and that he did succumb to the wounds he received during the performance of his duty,” Fitzhugh said in a letter to a memorial research manager. Grissom said the Sheriff’s Office received a letter last year from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund requesting research of Dement to add his name to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall. “It was both an honor and privilege for me to research the history of Constable Dement,” Grissom said. “We are honored to memorialize such a deserving individual on the wall for all to see and remember.” Memorial representatives approved adding Dement last fall. The Daily American newspaper in Nashville reported Constable Dement and horse owner Zachary Haynes went to arrest suspected horse thief Pinkney Bell at the house of his uncle Aug. 19, 1878. “Upon entering the house, Constable Dement said, ‘Pink, you are my prisoner,’” the newspaper reported. Bell replied, “Who are you? Hold on” and retreated to a wall. “Here, he shot Dement through the stomach,” the newspaper reported. Dement turned to Haynes and said, “I am shot.” Haynes fired five rounds at Bell, shooting him in his arm and hand. Bell was arrested and denied shooting Dement. Physicians who treated Dement believed his wounds would be fatal. On his death bed, Dement urged his friends not to lynch Bell but to prosecute him according to law. Dement died Sept. 7, 1878. More than 3,000 people attended his funeral. “He was highly esteemed by a large circle of friends and acquaintances, who mourn his untimely death,” the newspaper reported. Two days after Dement’s death, some of his friends shackled Bell and hung him on Halls Hill Pike.

Crews are paving the Adult Detention Center parking lot and the main Sheriff's Office parking lots this week. Visitors are asked to park in the field or gravel area from the Malloy Lane entrance by Heritage Farms.

Do you know this man? Video camera captured this man repeatedly ramming into the gate at Triton Construction about 7:25 a.m., Sunday, May 6 at the 10148 New Salem Highway. The man caused about $15,000 in vandalism to the motorized security gate, said Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Dan Goodwin. One of the company cameras shows a light-colored four door car with a spoiler, possibly a Toyota Camry, heading towards Eagleville that curves into the Triton entrance drive at 0725:13 and smashes into the gate. The driver, a heavy set fellow with a black ball cap, a leather jacket, brownish read beard and black-framed jacket, pushes past the sprung gate at walks unsteadily out of sight down the side of a building. He’s out of sight for more than a minute then is seen going back to the car, backing it up and ramming the gate a second time, then gunning it and hitting it a third time at about 0727. Both hits further spring the gate. The man then backs all the way to the edge of 99 and stomps the gas and knocks the gate back a distance of several feet. He then backs up onto 99 at 0728:18 and proceeds towards Eagleville again. Here is a YouTube video of the event: https://youtu.be/YiMsOk-l4kQ Anyone who recognizes this dangerous person is urged to call Goodwin at 615-904-3034 or email at dgoodwin@rcsotn.org.

Do you know this man? He is suspected of using skimmed credit cards Saturday at Walmart on Memorial Boulevard. The man was believed driving this car. If you have any information about him, please leave a message for Sheriff’s Detective Jason Dowdle at 615-904-3044 or jdowdle@rcsotn.org.