Local News

Sheriff's Office: Man Stabbed Wilson County Deputy With Box Cutter

Posted July 7, 2007 4:45 p.m. EDT
Updated July 8, 2007 6:36 p.m. EDT

— A Wilson County Sheriff’s deputy answering a domestic violence call was stabbed with a box cutter Saturday while entering a house, sheriff’s officials said.

A suspect was arrested and charged with first-degree attempted murder.

The sheriff's office said it would not release the deputy's name until his teenage daughter had been notified, and it continued to withhold that information Sunday.

The department did say the deputy came out of surgery at Wilson Medical Center about 6 p.m. Saturday and was released around lunchtime Sunday.

Officials charged Jimmy Allen Pennell, 35, with stabbing the deputy in the left side of his rib cage as the deputy entered the house at 5200 White Oak Loop Road. The deputy's stab wound was 8 inches long and 1½ inches deep, authorities said.

Sheriff Wayne Gay said the deputy has been with the sheriff’s office at least 12 years. He was a police officer prior to that.

He and another deputy met Pennell’s wife at an Eagle Food Mart after she told a store clerk her husband had attacked her.

Juanita Mercer was working the counter at Eagle Food Mart when she saw the woman.

“She was standing there, and she was, like, her husband had taken a whole bunch of pills and was trying to kill her. She had got in the car and brought her children down here with her,” Mercer said. “She was real scared, real scared. She was scared for her life.”

Mercer called 911.

The two deputies arrived and accompanied the woman to her house.

The deputies knocked on the door and ordered Pennell to come outside, but he refused. They finally entered the house, and the deputy was wounded, officials said.

The second deputy tried to enter the house, and Pennell tried to close the door to keep him out, according to the official account. The deputy forced the door open and subdued Pennell.

Despite being wounded, the first deputy took out his handcuffs and helped arrest Pennell, officials said.

After the struggle was over, the deputy realized how badly he was hurt. He was then rushed to the hospital, where he was expected to stay overnight, officials said.

Pennell was arrested and taken to the Wilson County Sheriff's Office. He was charged with first-degree attempted murder, malicious assault in secret, assault with a deadly weapon on a government official with the intent to kill, resisting a public officer and assault on a female.

Pennell was held on $3 million bond.

Gay said he was at the coast when he heard about his deputy’s injury, and he decided to come home.

“This is a very close-knit organization,” Gay said. “When something like this happens, we take it very serious. He’s very lucky. It’s bad. The doctors said it was bad. He’s lucky that it was not fatal.”