A man is facing felony charges after church members and customers at a convenience store Sunday told deputies they heard audio from his box truck similar to that heard before a Christmas Day explosion in downtown Nashville, according to the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
James Turgeon, 33, was charged with two counts of felony filing a false report and one count of tampering with evidence. He was detained after his box truck was stopped while traveling between Rutherford and Wilson counties, prompting response by multiple agencies and a robot was used to check the truck.
No explosive device was found, according to authorities.
Patrol deputies responded to a call around 10:30 a.m. Sunday of a driver playing the audio loudly outside the Crossroads Market in the Walter Hill area of Rutherford County.
Before the Nashville explosion, officials say a recording warning of a explosion and playing music played from an RV owned by Anthony Quinn Warner, the suspect in the bombing. Investigators do not believe there was anyone else involved, they said Sunday.
Deputies believe Turgeon made a similar announcement at Kings Chapel Independent Missionary Baptist Church at Jefferson Pike and Dunaway Chapel Road while church was in service, deputies said.
Sheriff’s deputies from Wilson and Rutherford counties and the Tennessee Highway Patrol stopped Turgeon’s truck in Wilson County where he was detained for questioning.
The investigation closed Highway 231 South from the Cedars of Lebanon State Park to Richmond Shop Road in Wilson County from roughly 11 a.m. to around 4 p.m. Sunday, Wilson County Sheriff’s Capt. Scott Moore said.
Five homes in the area were evacuated as a precaution with the truck stopped on Highway 231 South, Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said.
Rutherford County Detective Sgt. Steve Craig said they found Turgeon allegedly damaged the speaker system wiring intentionally, leading to the evidence tampering charge.
Turgeon is being held on $500,000 bond at Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.
Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Miller said that agency’s Special Operations Unit used a robot to check the vehicle and no device was detected.
Michael Knight, public information officer with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said certified explosives specialists and resources from ATF’s National Center for Explosives Training and Research worked with the Tennessee Highway Patrol at the scene.
Reach Andy Humbles at [email protected] or 615-726-5939 and on Twitter @ AndyHumbles.