Knoxville man convicted of attacking co-workers with pick axe-like tool

Local News

A Knox County man was convicted of attempted murder after prosecutors say he attacked his co-workers with a garden tool similar to a pick axe.

The Knox County District Attorney General’s Office says Timothy Whataker, 54, was convicted of attempted second degree murder, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment after a three-day trial.

Prosecutors said on November 8, 2016, Whitaker was working at Beardsley Community Farm, 1741 Reynolds Street. Co-workers noticed he seemed agitated and was slamming benches on the ground and cursing.

When a supervisor and another worker tried to calm him down, Whitaker went to a barn, retrieved two mattocks, and started smashing a picnic table. A mattock is a gardening tool that resembles a pick axe.

A co-worker started walking to the parking lot when prosecutrors say Whitaker hit her with a mattock. Another co-worker grabbed Whitaker to keep him from hitting anyone else, but Whitaker hit him in the head with a mattock, causing a skull fracture and brain hemorrhaging.

Witnesses called 911 and Knoxville police arrivied to take Whitaker into custody.

Sentencing is set for March 1. He could face eight to 12 years for the attempted murder charge and three to six years for the aggravated assault charge.

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