Officers' Investigative Efforts Results In Arrest of Homicide Suspects

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Officers' Investigative Efforts Results In Arrest of Homicide Suspects

Posted: 07/10/2013
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Police Chief David Rausch named Knoxville Police Department Officers Jeff Allgood and Robert Cook the January Officers of the Month. Officer Allgood has been with the department since June 2006 while Officer Cook has been with KPD since August 2008.

Chief Rausch said that on January 8, 2013, at approximately 9:25 p.m., Officer Allgood was demonstrating patrol work to a cadet when he noticed the smell of smoke in the 8800 block of Kingston Pike. Fearing a building was on fire, Officer Allgood tracked the smoke down to a wooded area directly behind a business located at 8843 Kingston Pike. Officer Allgood entered the woods and discovered it was a campfire at a homeless camp that was known to belong to Kevin Scrimager, aka Bicycle Red.

Chief Rausch said, "Officer Allgood encountered a male and female at the camp, but could not locate Mr. Scrimager. Officer Allgood noticed that neither individual looked like they were homeless. The clean-cut pair looked healthy, were dressed nice and overly cordial. They were clearly out of place in the camp."

Officer Allgood continued to ask questions as to what they were doing at the camp. The male indicated he knew "Red" and that he brought his friend to the camp to meet him.

The male further stated he had given "Red" money to go to a liquor store so he could be alone with the female. A records check on both subjects came back negative. When Officer Allgood returned to his patrol car, he entered the couple's information into his laptop to continue his investigation. In just a few minutes it became obvious that the couple had lied about their true identities. The male, 38-year-old Gregory Paul Barner, was wanted in Texas by the FBI. The U.S. Marshal's Service also had outstanding warrants for his arrest. In addition, Barner was also wanted in several additional states for gun and drug charges. The female, 24-year-old Haley Tweed of Sevierville, had originally used her sister's information because she mistakenly thought there was a violation of probation warrant for her arrest.

When Officer Allgood returned to the camp to arrest Barner, he fled on foot and was taken into custody after being trapped in an impassable thicket. Both Barner and Tweed were charged with Criminal Trespassing. Barner was also charged with Public Intoxication, Resisting Arrest, Evading Arrest as well as the outstanding Federal warrants.

Chief Rausch said, "To make sure other officers that work that beat knew about the incident, Officer Allgood shared the arrest information with Officer Cook. The officers continued to revisit the camp at various times to look for Mr. Scrimager but were unsuccessful in locating him."

On January 25, 2013, Officer Cook received a welfare check call in which the complainant stated they had not heard from Mr. Scrimager since January 8. Officer Cook called Officer Allgood to verify the location of the camp. Again, Mr. Scrimager could not be located. Officer Cook decided to expand the perimeter of his search. Approximately 40 yards from the camp Officer Cook noticed some sections of abandoned metal drainage pipes. On closer examination Officer Cook discovered two bicycles had been crammed into one of the pipes.

Chief Rausch said, "After several minutes of prying and tugging, Officer Cook was able to remove the wedged bikes along with a lot of trash. Under the trash he located a sleeping bag with the deceased missing male. The investigation indicated Mr. Scrimager had been fatally stabbed on January 8th."

Investigators were able to detain Barner before he was extradited to Texas while Tweed was located at a residence in Knoxville. Tweed was indicted by a Knox County Grand Jury for First Degree Murder. Barner will be charged with First Degree Murder once extradited back to Tennessee from Texas.

Chief Rausch said, "If it weren't for Officer Allgood's initial observations and continued investigation along with Officer Cook's extra efforts in searching the area around the campsite, this homicide would have likely gone unsolved. We congratulate them on a job well done."