Two Charged in Sevier Home Invasion, Gunfight

By: Rob Pratt
By: Rob Pratt

Sevier County (WVLT) -- An attempted home invasion lead to a shootout in Sevier County over night.

Although no one was injured two men are in jail and facing several serious charges.

According to the Sevier County Sheriff's Department, Robert Joel Hawkins, 21, Sevierville and Isaiah Ray Kemp, 22, Sevierville were arrested just minutes after 911 got the call about the break-in attempt.

The two men are only charged in connection with Tuesday night's attempt, but the sheriff says investigators have not yet ruled out a connection with a string of recent home invasions in Sevier County.

The break-in happened on King Branch Road, a peaceful spot up in the mountains.

That peace was shattered when Hawkins and Kemp allegedly began the overnight break-in and got more than they bargained for.

Deputies say the pair showed up at the front door claiming to be police officers, but had no badges.

That's when they got frustrated, and while standing on the porch, allegedly took out a handgun and rifle and pointed them at the man inside.

The victim, who declined to talk about the situation, had a gun of his own and proceeded to open fire on the suspects who shot back and drove away.

Minutes later, deputies made a traffic stop and arrested Hawkins and Kemp.

The sheriff said because some other recent home invasions remain unsolved, his investigators had plenty of questions for the suspects.

"There's an ongoing investigation on the other cases at this time," Sheriff Ron Seals said. "They will certainly look at these individuals to determine whether they were part of or know anything about the other home invasions in Sevier County."

Sevierville's Glenn McCroskey knows first hand what it's like to go through a home invasion.

It happened to him three weeks ago and so far there have been no arrests.

"I opened the door and they kicked me plum through my house," McCroskey said. "They jumped up on top of me and stuck a gun to the side of my head."

"Most of these things are occurring late at night," Sheriff Seals said. "If someone knocks on your door and asks to come in your house and use a telephone or anything, just call the Sheriff's Department."

Hawkins and Kemp only face charges in connection with the Tuesday night incident.

They were arraigned Wednesday morning on charges of attempted home invasion, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment.

Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for November 16.

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