RIPLEY - James Abshire, Jr., who was hired as an assistant football coach by the Jackson County Board of Education in June of this year, was arrested last week and faces charges of unlawful wounding stemming from an incident on July 2 where he allegedly struck his sister Teresa Miller, breaking her jaw.
According to Jackson County Sherriff Tony Boggs, Deputy M.D. Strobbe is the investigating officer and Abshire, 58, posted $5,000.00 bond in relation to the incident, which is still under investigation. Boggs stated that it was a domestic altercation that also involved other family members. The incident was reported on July 12.
Teresa Miller provided a hand written statement of the events that transpired on July 2 as her jaw is wired shut and speaking was extremely difficult. She was initially seen at Jackson General Hospital and eventually transferred to CAMC for surgery.
Miller stated that on July 2, 2013 at her mother's (Betty Abshire) residence on Klondyke Road in Ripley, during their yearly flea market sale, that she (Teresa) and her mother got into an argument over the sale of a $20 bike that was sold for $15.
Teresa allegedly went outside and began knocking her own items off of her table and as she turned around she saw James come off of the porch and allegedly hit her on the left side of the face. Teresa fell to the ground where she stayed for several minutes. Karen Anderson, Teresa's sister, came outside to help her off of the ground. After several minutes Teresa was able to get up, gather her belongings and left the area, and went to Jackson General Hospital for her injuries.
Deputy Strobbe and Deputy L.M. Casto traveled to the residence of Betty Abshire and spoke with her and Patricia Dotson who witnessed the altercation.
Both confirmed that the sale of the bicycle is what started the argument. Dotson stated that James used a "football move" by raising his forearm and hitting Teresa in the side of the face.
Strobbe and Casto then traveled to the residence of James Abshire, Jr. who agreed to come to the Sherriff's department to be interviewed. Casto read Abshire his Miranda Rights and he initialed and agreed to be interviewed without an attorney present.
During the interview, Abshire agreed with the witness statements and stated that he saw Teresa breaking her own items and throwing her stuff towards his items and he ran outside. Abshire stated that he was mad and went to stop Teresa. Abshire grabbed Teresa and in the process hit her in the face with his right forearm/elbow. Abshire stated that he wasn't sure how it happened, but admitted it could have been a "football move" as he was a linebacker and it was instinct. Teresa fell to the ground where she laid for a couple of minutes before getting up and leaving the area. James stated that he had a small bump on his right forearm from hitting Teresa.
Page 2 of 2 - Abshire was eventually charged with felony unlawful wounding. He was arraigned before Magistrate Jackie Casto who set bond at $5,000 pending further court action.
Jackson County Schools Superintendent Blaine Hess issued a statement about the alleged incident on Tuesday evening.
"I have seen the police report and I am aware of the situation. As the police investigation continues, we intend to observe as the legal proceedings take their natural course. At this time, Mr. Abshire will not be working with student athletes in Jackson County," said Hess.
Abshire, a RpHS graduate, does not teach in Jackson County and held a part-time position as an assistant football coach at Ripley High.