A man accused of attempting to kill police officers last year was arraigned on a multitude of charges on Thursday and was appointed a new attorney.
Travis Grover Richardson of Elizabethton has been incarcerated
in the Carter County Jail since his arrest in August 2011 after he allegedly led local authorities on a threecounty pursuit, physically fighting officers and ramming their vehicles. He appeared in Carter County Criminal Court on Thursday before Judge Lynn Brown. Richardson first appeared with Attorney David Crichton for arraignment, receiving the indictments and pleading not guilty.
Crichton then requested that the Public Defender’s office be removed as counsel in the case. In the motion, it was referenced that the Public Defender’s office represents a man who Richardson allegedly tried to kill in September of 2008, identified in an indictment as Daniel Honeycutt. Due to a conflict of interest, the judge granted the request and selected local Attorney Jason Holly to represent Richardson.
Holly must determine whether he has a conflict of interest in the case as well. A new court date was set for May 30.
Bailiffs waited until last Thursday to bring Richardson into the courtroom, when the defendant would not have an audience or other prisoners present.
Richardson faces numerous charges, including two counts of felony evading arrest, four counts of reckless endangerment, four counts of aggravated assault, 30 counts of criminal simulation, theft over $1,000, aggravated robbery, two counts of attempted second-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, vandalism and aggravated burglary.
On the evening of Aug. 2, 2011, Elizabethton Police Department
Officer Matthew Taylor was called to the IGA in the Betsytown Shopping Center on the report of a man passing counterfeit money. Taylor said Richardson began to fight and fled out into the parking lot. During the incident, Richardson allegedly pulled out a knife and swung it at the officer. Taylor then pursued Richardson to a home on Stateline Road, where the man displayed a knife and took the resident’s vehicle.
By that time, other police arrived and Richardson rammed a police cruiser and nearly hit Taylor, who had to jump out of the way. Richardson then traveled away from the scene at a high rate of speed, resulting in a lengthy threecounty pursuit. Deputies from the Carter County Sheriff’s Department and Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department joined the pursuit. Richardson is alleged to have rammed vehicles driven by deputies from both counties.
Police eventually stopped Richardson and took him into custody in a parking lot in Johnson City along South Roan Street.
At the time of the 2011 incident, Richardson was wanted on an attempted murder charge by Carter County authorities for allegedly stabbing Honeycutt in 2008 in the Okolona area.