NEWPORT—A Newport man has been indicted by a Cocke County Grand Jury on charges stemming from an October 27 incident where he burned down a Newport woman’s residence on West Highway 25/70.
Phillip Lance Rodgers, 37, has been charged with resist stop, frisk, halt, arrest or search, aggravated assault, cruelty to animals, arson and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon involved.
On October 27, Cocke County Sheriff Deputy Daniel Smith was dispatched to the 1500 block of West Highway 25/70 concerning a structure fire just before 11 p.m. that night.
Deputy Smith came in contact with the victim and homeowner, Amy G. Epley, 39, who said she and her ex-boyfriend, Phillip Lance Rodgers, 37, 1722 Allen Road, were arguing about their recent break over the phone when Rogers said he was going to “burn her house down.”
When Epley came back to her residence, she found Rodgers parked in her driveway with her home fully engulfed by flames. Epley also reported her dog was inside the home at the time of the fire.
Epley told deputies that Rodgers chased her in his vehicle through her yard and ran over a fence, while striking another vehicle on the property.
Epley attempted to flee in her own vehicle, but Rodgers continued to chase her on to West Highway 25/70. Rodgers allegedly struck Epley’s vehicle causing her to crash in Jefferson County.
According to the report, Rodgers allegedly attempted to assault Epley in her vehicle before taking a .22 pistol from her car and fleeing the scene.
During the investigation, Epley received a phone call from Rodgers and deputies heard Rodgers say, she “got what she deserved” and that he was “going to kill her.”
Deputies located Rodgers at a residence on Delta Way a short time later. Upon making contact with Rodgers, he reportedly became “combative” and “belligerent.”
Rodgers was taken to the ground and apprehended.
Rodgers will face arraigned in Cocke County Circuit Court before Judge Carter Moore.