Robbery victim says Sevier Co. pill suspect was a former friend

By: Sara Shookman Email
By: Sara Shookman Email

SEVIER CO., Tenn. (WVLT) -- One man is behind bars and another on the loose after deputies say they robbed two men at home. The victims claim they knew the men responsible.

Eugene Helton says when a friend pulled up outside last night, he never imagined it would end the way it did.

"I told them I said, 'Come on in," said Helton. And within minutes, he was at gunpoint.

Deputies say his old high school friend, Kenny Lee Phillips, 48, was looking for pills.

"They ransacked my bedroom and everything in here. Looking for pills and stuff," said Helton. He says Phillips used a stun gun to get him to talk.

"There wasn't nothing I could do. He ended up hitting me right here in the chest," Helton said. "I figured it would knock me out or something but it didn't. I just felt that electric shock."

His friend Ray was also facing a barrel. He was in the kitchen when he saw another suspect pull the trigger.

"Thinking your friends getting killed and knowing you're next, it does get a bit chokey," said Raymond Ogle.

"They got every pill bottle I had," said Helton. Thankfully the gun jammed, but the guys got away with dozens of Helton's medications

"They went through them like candy, M&Ms after they got em," said Ogle. What's left was returned by Sevier County Sheriff's Office.

"Prescription narcotics is our worst problem right now," said Detective Matthew Cubberley. He said pills are behind most crimes in the county. Keep yours locked away.

"Keep them in a safe. Locked up in a safe. Not advertise the fact that you have them. Be a good thing to do."

Helton has other advice. "People need to really really know who their friends are and who ain't." Helton says he'll still be shook up until deputies can find the other suspect.

Officers say they have a rough description but are still working to find more details about that person.

Phillips' hearing is set for October 24.

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