Deadly Union County dispute between neighbors raises questions

Deadly Union County dispute between neighbors raises legal questions

Posted:
Kevin Waggoner (source: Knox County Schools) Kevin Waggoner (source: Knox County Schools)
Detective Kenneth Crider with the Union County Sheriff's Department says that orders of protection taken out by each family don't apply in this case. Detective Kenneth Crider with the Union County Sheriff's Department says that orders of protection taken out by each family don't apply in this case.
"Until there's that over-act, something that does rise to the level of an illegality or violates a civil statute you basically have very little remedy," said 6 News Legal Analyst Greg Isaacs. "Until there's that over-act, something that does rise to the level of an illegality or violates a civil statute you basically have very little remedy," said 6 News Legal Analyst Greg Isaacs.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

LUTTRELL (WATE) - The dispute between two neighboring Union County families that led to a fatal shooting this week is now raising questions about what your legal rights are when it comes to arguing with a neighbor.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Kevin Lee Waggoner, 42, and Michael Adam Woodby, 45, were arguing Monday night along Highway 370 when Woodby was shot. Waggoner, who is a Knox County School Security Officer, was charged with criminal homicide Tuesday.

Waggoner's son Kolton Waggoner, 21, says the family is holding up and right now they're not ready to share their side of the story.

Detectives were out on Highway 370 Wednesday gathering evidence still determining what lead up to this fatal shooting.

In a packet postmarked September 13 sent to 6 News, Kevin Waggoner included almost 10 orders of protection taken out by either the Woodby family or by his family. Detective Kenneth Crider with the Union County Sheriff's Department says that paperwork doesn't apply in this case.

"Because those individuals they're not connected. They're not family, neither were they ever married or boyfriend and girlfriend, and they didn't have children in common so an order of protection, they can't apply for that. That's why it was shot down," added Detective Crider.

Both families recorded each other showing the longstanding history of tension. When it comes to videotaping, the Sheriff's Department says you're allowed to have security cameras on your property.

"Before the Sheriff's Department can step in, there has to be a crime that's been committed or a crime that is going to be committed," said Detective Crider.

If it's a civil issue, meaning an argument or exchange of words, most officers will tell you to consult a lawyer. So legally what can you do to get a neighbor to essentially leave you alone?

"Until there's that over-act, something that does rise to the level of an illegality or violates a civil statute you basically have very little remedy," said 6 News Legal Analyst Greg Isaacs.

Isaacs says this shooting is an unfortunate example of a gap in Tennessee law.

While there are few solutions, officers say to always call 911 in case an argument escalates. They add to simply use common sense.

"Even though there's always a degree of frustration that the law doesn't always provide a remedy in this do not be baited into taking the law into your own hands," added Isaacs.

The TBI says at the time of the shooting Woodby was not carrying a firearm, however he did have a walking stick with him.

The suspect's son, Kolton Waggoner, was with him at the time of the shooting. Detectives say they don't believe Kolton will be charged, but again they're still investigating. Kevin Waggoner is still being held at Union County Jail.

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