A timeline of the Kingsport death investigation


KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Court records show the path of the man arrested in connection to a Kingsport man’s death.

According to the records, authorities arrested Jeffry Caldwell on shoplifting, motor vehicle theft and resisting arrest a day after officers discovered the body of 79-year-old Lewis Vaughn.

Court documents offer a timeline of Caldwell’s movements from Nov. 19 to his arrest on Nov. 21.

Tuesday, Nov. 19

Morning – Caldwell’s wife, Kayla Caldwell, leaves their home at 622 Gravely Road in Kingsport from 6:45-9 a.m., according to the records. She later told officers that she was arguing with her husband, Jeffry, and he accused her of having an affair with his step-grandfather, later identified as Lewis, who lived with the couple.

She told officers that her husband got angry and pushed her. She fell, got up, and started running toward her vehicle, the documents said.

After the argument, Mrs. Caldwell told officers she drove to a nearby Sunoco gas station. She found a knife under the driver’s seat of her vehicle, the report said, and threw it in a trash can near the gas pumps.

Later – Kayla Caldwell reported that she came home “later that day” and noticed Jeffry’s shoes on the porch among broken glass. She noted, according to records, that the shoes were stained with what she thought was blood.

She told authorities that she put the shoes in the washer because she didn’t want her husband to get into trouble.

Previous story: Court Documents: Wife of person of interest in Kingsport death investigation also arrested

According to the report, she discovered Vaughn’s body under furniture after noticing a smell coming from the room. She told officers that she bagged the shoes and buried them in a neighboring yard.

Wednesday, Nov. 20

Midnight – 1 a.m. – A neighbor later reports to police that he notices Mr. Caldwell get into Vaughn’s silver Volkswagon Jetta and speed away down Gravely Road toward Shipp Springs Road. The neighbor told police that this was unusual as Vaughn didn’t allow people to drive his car.

2:04 a.m. – Dispatchers are alerted to a possible homicide at the residence.

2:14 a.m. – Sullivan County deputies arrive at the home and find Vaughn’s body inside.

12:45 p.m. – Authorities find the Jetta on Interstate 26 in Unicoi County.

Previously reported: Vehicle believed to be driven by person of interest in Kingsport death investigation found in Unicoi Co.

Thursday, Nov. 21

1:30 p.m. – Court records show a white male, later identified as Mr. Caldwell, came into Roadrunner Market, 3016 N. John B. Dennis Highway, in Kingsport. The records say he walked behind the counter, grabbed a full display of about 40 electronic cigarettes and left the area in a maroon Chevrolet van, an employee told police.

1:55 p.m. – Police arrive at the Roadrunner to investigate.

2:50 p.m. – An officer arrives at Kroger, 1664 E. Stone Drive, about two miles away from the Roadrunner, on a shoplifting call. According to records, the accused shoplifter was driving a maroon Chevrolet van, which documents say was reported stolen.

As authorities approached the vehicle, the driver put the van in reverse and began backing up, despite commands from officers to stop. He began driving away, the records show, until officers were able to get him and a passenger out of the car.

Read more: Person of interest in Kingsport death investigation arrested after shoplifting call; deceased individual identified

According to records, Jeffrey Caldwell was driving the van, and his mother was the passenger. She told officers that she was with her son in an effort to get him to turn himself in to police.

Officers found the stolen e-cigarettes and the items reported stolen from Kroger in the van.

Officers arrested Caldwell on chargest of possession of stolen property, motor vehicle theft and resisting arrest. Authorities booked him into the Kingsport City Jail.

Mrs. Caldwell was also arrested and faces charges of tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact to murder.

Both are due in court in December.

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