Crimetracker: Woman confesses to stealing from elderly woman

BULLS GAP, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Morristown woman confessed to burglarizing an elderly woman's home in Hawkins County, according to detectives.

Molena Dowell, 36, is accused of stealing the 86-year-old's gun - as well as her purse and jewelry Friday.

The sheriff's office said Louise Howard, 86, fired at Dowell during a struggle. She thought she missed, but deputies said Dowell has an injury on her arm, consistent with a grazing bullet wound.

Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said deputies were responding to a complaint about a suspicious vehicle on Highway 66 when Howard, who was on the phone with a deputy, told him she heard a noise. She laid down the phone at which point the deputy heard her screaming at someone.

When officers arrived at her home, they found someone had broken in through the front door. A large metal wrench was also found on the bathroom floor.

Howard told deputies a woman had confronted her at a bedroom door, saying she wasn't going to hurt her and wanted money. The suspect then started pulling down the hall toward the kitchen.

That's when Howard reportedly pulled out a pistol to shoot her attacker. When her assailant tried to take the pistol from her, it went off. The suspect managed to take the pistol from her and grabbed her purse and some rings as well before taking off in a red car.

"I didn't know these people, I've never seen them before. But I sure hope God gets them. I'm just going to pray God gets them and takes them right on out of this world," said Howard. "I intended to shoot her in the stomach and I will do to anybody I catch in my house, I intend to kill them."

Sheriff Lawson said Dowell became a suspect after selling a ring belonging to Howard at a Morristown pawn shop. He said a number of other items belonging to Howard were found in the car Dowell was driving.

Dowll is charged with Aggravated robbery, Burglary and Theft of Property over $500.00. She is currently in the Hawkins County Jail. Bond has not been set.


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