Former U.S. Senate candidate arrested on solicitation to kill deputy charge

11:22 am | August 23, 2013

Thomas Kenneth “T.K.” Owens, who, in 2012, sought the Democratic nomination to represent Tennessee in the U.S. Senate, was arrested early this morning on charges that he solicited the murder of his uncle Earnest Widby, who works as a bailiff for the Carter County Sheriff’s Department.

Photo by Danny DavisFormer U.S. Senate candidate T.K. Owens was arrested Friday morning on charges that he solicited the murder of a Carter County sheriff's deputy.

Photo by Danny Davis
Former U.S. Senate candidate T.K. Owens was arrested Friday morning on charges that he solicited the murder of a Carter County sheriff’s deputy.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation alleged that Owens met with an individual at Bailey’s Sports Bar in Johnson City and gave the person $500 and a photograph of the deputy. He was arrested shortly afterward.

Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said $2,500 was offered to complete the hit.

Mathes said he would rather details about the motive come out in court, but did mention there possibly were “spiritually motivated” ¬†disagreements between them.

Owens is being held at the Washington County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond. He was scheduled for arraignment today.

More on this story as it develops.

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