One-on-One With Tim Hutchison, Part 1

Knoxville (WVLT) - His law enforcement career has spanned 32 years. He was elected to 5 terms. But those years have also seen controversy for former Sheriff Tim Hutchison.

Alan Williams had the chance to sit down with him for a rare look back at his career, from the good, the bad and most memorable times of his career.

For years, Tim Hutchison walked through these halls of the Knox County Sheriff's Department.

Now, that span of five terms is over due to term limits.

In an admission that most have never heard, Hutchison says it was the death of a member of the force that changed his outlook for good.

"After Chief Lyon was killed a year ago, May, my heart really wasn't in it anymore. I was really ready to go. I just wanted to make sure it was someone from this department that would follow me that would take care of this department".

In the years leading up to this epiphany, Hutchison was known as a strong willed, tough minded administrator, admittedly doing what he wanted, when he wanted.

"To some extent, it’s a compliment when they say, ‘for the most part he did what he wants.’"

Controversy ran deep, including a quarrel with then-Police Chief Phil Keith over Hutchison’s suggestion to combine parts of the agencies.

"He put me on notice the third week in September, he wanted nothing to do with the Knox County Sheriff's Office."

Hutchison says they have since mended fences.

Solving cases, he admits are his proudest moments, but one still haunts him, the unsolved murder of Johnia Berry, and the controversy over whether or not to allow the case to go nationwide.

"To do a national show means I’ll have to take some detectives that I have working on that all over the nation to run down every lead that comes into this department and to either prove or disprove that someone was in Knoxville, Tennessee that night."

On the other hand, mother Joan, is still fighting to get her daughter’s attention through the national spotlight.

But there was one case in particular that Hutchison is proud of. In August of 2001, a magazine salesman named Roger Broadway was on the run presumably on a bus, accused of killing a Knoxville woman.

"If we sent one detective down there and said, you know Alan, you’re in charge and Alan would have started working on it, then we'd never have caught Roger Broadway fast enough."

Broadway is serving a life sentence. He's faced everything from lawsuits to criminal contempt, and a bulldog attorney biting at his heels.

"Whether they love me or hated me, there’s one thing that all of them would say is ‘Tim Hutchison will get the job done’, that’s what [matters] to me."

Speaking of that bulldog attorney, in Part 2, Alan asks Tim Hutchison to describe in his words, his impression of Herb Moncier, the pension issue, as well as what is in store for his future.


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