Woman arrested in officer deaths also wanted by CCSD

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com

   A woman who is being held by police in connection with an accident that left two Wilson County law enforcement officers dead Wednesday has an outstanding criminal record in Carter County.
   Fallon Lynn Tallent, 21, of Maryville, who is currently being held in the Wilson County Detention Center on charges of aggravated assault, driving on a revoked license and reckless endangerment out of Knox County, is also currently wanted on an outstanding warrant related to an arrest that occurred last year in Carter County.
   Wednesday's accident occurred at approximately 9:50 a.m. CDT in the westbound lanes of Interstate 40 in Mount Juliet, a town approximately 25 miles east of Nashville, according to Beth Tucker-Womack of the Tennessee Department of Safety. Tallent was driving a 1986 Mercedes Benz that had been reported stolen Sunday from her hometown of Maryville when the police pursuit began at approximately 9:15 a.m. CDT.
   Mount Juliet Police Sgt. Jerry Mundy and Wilson County Sheriff's Deputy John Musice had been dispatched to a location ahead of the pursuit to stop the chase before anyone was injured. The two officers placed spike strips, which puncture and deflate tires, on the road and waited for the stolen vehicle driven by Tallent.
   As the vehicle approached the spike strips, Tallent swerved off the right side of the road, striking both officers and a police vehicle, according to Tucker-Womack. The two officers died instantly in the accident.
   Both Tallent and her 33-year-old female passenger, Dorothy Cash, were transported to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center where Cash is still being treated. Tallent was released and taken into custody by Wilson County law enforcement officers.
   According to reports from the Associated Press, the pursuit began after a report of a reckless vehicle in Cookeville. Officers from Wilson County as well as the cities of Lebanon and Mount Juliet were involved in the chase, which lasted for 30 minutes and reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.
   Tallent has not yet been charged in connection with the accident that killed Mundy and Musice. Tommy Thompson, 15th Judicial District attorney general, said the case would go to a special grand jury session today, according to a report from The Lebanon Democrat newspaper.
   Tallent has a long criminal history. In February 2002, she was arrested in Carter County by officers of the Sheriff's Department and charged with criminal impersonation and second offense driving on a revoked license. She was convicted for those charges on March 8 of that year in Carter County General Sessions Court, according to court documents.
   Tallent was sentenced to a $50 fine plus court costs and a suspended jail sentence of five months and 29 days on the criminal impersonation charge. She was also fined $50 plus court costs and a jail sentence of 11 months and 29 days on the other charges.
   Tallent was given until May 14 of 2002 to pay off her court costs and fines from those convictions, according to court documents. If she had not yet paid the fines by that date, she was to appear before the judge in court. According to court records, she did not pay the fines or show up in court, so a capias was issued for her arrest at that time.
   The Associated Press reported that authorities in Knox County said Tallent has a history of violent crime, drug-related crime and property crime in that county. The AP also reported that Tallent has a juvenile crime record, which began when she was 13, and that since turning 18 she has been arrested in Blount County several times on charges including possession of marijuana, public intoxication and contempt of court.
   Tallent was involved in another significant altercation with law enforcement officers when she was 15 and listed as a runaway from a juvenile facility in Elizabethton, according to The Associated Press. At that time, police allegedly found Tallent in the trunk of a vehicle when she pulled a gun and held two officers at bay until a third officer fired a shot at her legs from in front of the car. However, the incident and the fact that Tallent was reported to be a runaway from Elizabethton could not be officially confirmed due to the fact that juvenile records are sealed and are not a matter of public record, the AP said.