Onetime Senate hopeful charged with trying to have uncle, a Carter County deputy, killed

5:00 am | August 25, 2013

In Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes’ opinion, it is rare that someone follows through or acts upon a threat against a law enforcement officer’s life.

However, he said threats to take their lives are very common.

“It’s very rare that people do act upon them, but when they do act upon them, they are often very, very serious,” Mathes said during a press conference on Friday.

Mathes was reluctant to give details about how and why Thomas Kenneth “T.K.” Owens, 37, allegedly wanted to have his uncle, who is a Carter County Sheriff’s Department deputy, killed.

After having seen the evidence in the case, Mathes said he believes Owens was serious.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that we prevented what could have been a tragedy,” Mathes said. “Domestic violence is something that happens all the time. This is it at its extreme and we were able to prevent it.”

Mathes said Owens was arrested after giving a CCSD source $500 and a photograph of his uncle Ernest Widby, who works as a bailiff in the Carter County Courthouse.

A total of $2,500 was offered for the hit to be completed, Mathes said.

Mathes said other evidence in the case includes detailed conversations about how the hit was to take place.

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