Maryville man who used missing teen’s debit card, checking account sentenced to 63 years in prison

Crime and Courts

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A 63-year-old man will spend the next 63 years in prison after victimizing a teenager that has not been heard of since 2018. Terry Lynn Nuchols of Maryville was found guilty in February 2020 of four counts of identity theft and one count of forgery greater than $10,000.

While on parole Nuchols used a debit card and deposited checks written from an account belonging to Michael “Heath” Stephens, 19, multiple times. Stephens has been missing since September 2018. Investigators are still investigating the circumstances surrounding Stephens’ disappearance.

Nuchols was sentenced June 9 to 12 years for each of the four identity theft charges and 15 years for the forgery charge. The sentences are to be served consecutively. The sentence will also run consecutive to the remainder of a life sentence for which Nuchols was on parole at the time. Nuchols’s sentencing was delayed because of COVID-19.

If anyone has information about Stephens’ disappearance, you are being asked to call the Blount County Sheriff’s Office 865-273-5001. You can also leave a message on the 24-hour anonymous crime hotline at 865-273-5200, or leave a tip on the Text-a-Tip link at

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