J.J. Jones planted his feet up on a desk, smiled at the people in the room and said he now knows how it feels when Peyton Manning throws a touchdown pass.
He was talking about the 2007 arrest of a suspect in a murder case.
And the victim’s brother was waiting in the room.
An act of eye-popping self-aggrandizement by J.J. Jones.
It took a month for Kelly Burke to tell his mother, Joan Berry, about the sheriff’s boastful analogy of a sporting event to making an arrest in the murder of Johnia Berry.
Burke was staggered by the remark at a time when he was reliving the emotions and horrid details of his sister’s stabbing death in 2004.
On Tuesday, Burke and Joan Berry were at my headquarters to voluntarily endorse my campaign for sheriff. I didn’t seek their support and Joan Berry noted she is not a political person.
Her sole motive was to ensure that the next sheriff of Knox County will always avail himself of any help offered to solve crimes and won’t be rebuffed as she was by Tim Hutchison and then Jones.
Burke bristled at Jones’ notion that he would not politicize Johnia Berry’s death. Burke noted when he walked into a Food City and saw one of the thousands of posters and flyers that the family had distributed to keep the public focused on the case, he saw a large sticker affixed to the poster with Jones’ name boasting that the crime was solved.
The poster had been placed in the store by the family, not the appointed sheriff, but Jones felt the need to promote himself.
On Tuesday, Burke characterized as “asinine” Jones’ statement that he was not politicizing his sister’s death and said that Jones taking credit for the family’s efforts stopped him in his tracks that day.
This same interim sheriff had declined all outside help, including that offered by the TBI and “America’s Most Wanted.” The family believes the case could have been solved sooner had the sheriff accepted outside help. Refusing to do so was the epitome of arrogance.
Now we have arrogance from Jones to the nth degree – from reducing a murder arrest to a touchdown pass, to taking credit away from the family, to pontificating Tuesday.
J.J. Jones had this to say Tuesday: “What’s next? This is Tyree politics as usual. I refuse to participate in the exploitation of the murder of a young woman for political gain.”
You already have done so J.J. when you compared an arrest to a touchdown pass with the grieving relative in the room in an act of shocking self-aggrandizement. When you slapped your sticker on the family’s poster of their loved one after being in office for just a short time.
And you asked what’s next from me? I ask you the same thing. I wonder how low you can go.
The News Sentinel, WATE-Channel 6, WVLT-Channel 8 and WBIR-Channel 10 have coverage with photos and video:
Remember, this time YOU decide.