Jeffrey Willard Wooten's mug shot

Oh how we laughed when Jeffery Willard Wooten tried to rob a Waffle House with a pitchfork. Ban pitchforks!, TTAG’s headline proclaimed above a description of Wooten’s pathetic attempt to run from the scene of the crime with a cash register. Which he dropped during his escape. Which a bystander used to beat him as he did so. Well, police now have Mr. Wooten in custody and there’s nothing funny about his recent criminal activities . . .

A Knoxville man with a lengthy criminal history has been identified as the suspect for a Friday afternoon break-in, carjacking, and murder in East Knox County.

Knox County Sheriff’s Office announced Saturday that Jeffery Willard Wooten, 49, has been charged with first degree murder and two counts of aggravated robbery.

Investigators said Wooten is suspected of shooting and killing Randy Lands, 44, during a home invasion on Hunters Ridge Way Friday afternoon.

A Knoxville man with a lengthy criminal history has been identified as the suspect for a Friday afternoon break-in, carjacking, and murder in East Knox County.

Knox County Sheriff’s Office announced Saturday that Jeffery Willard Wooten, 49, has been charged with first degree murder and two counts of aggravated robbery.

Investigators said Wooten is suspected of shooting and killing Randy Lands, 44, during a home invasion on Hunters Ridge Way Friday afternoon . . .

About three hours after the incident, Loudon County officers spotted Wooten driving the stolen SUV. He led authorities on a high-speed chase. KCSO said Wooten got off the interstate in West Knox County on Lovell Road and crashed through the yard of a home.

Deputies took Wooten into custody and he was taken to UT Medical Center for injuries.

Given these charges – and Wooten’s previous convictions (resisting, simple possession, armed robbery, burglary, fight/escape, weapon offense, and stolen vehicle) – it seems clear that Wooten could have skewered some of the unarmed employees and customers at the Waffle House. The fact that he herded them into the back office should have tipped us off that he was a truly dangerous man.

We should have tagged the Waffle House incident as a It Should Have Been A Defensive Gun Use post. Wooten’s attack reminds us – now – that we need to be armed against people wielding any sort of weapon. [h/t HiddenHills]

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25 Responses to Pitchfork Robber Arrested for Home Invasion Murder

  1. I will admit my ignorance to the inner workings of the justice system in TN, but at what point does a violent criminal, with a long rap sheet, get released after performing “alleged” armed (with a pitchfork) robbery, just so he can go and murder someone a week later?

    It’s bad enough when someone with money and influence can get out of multiple DUIs with some community service, but when did we start letting guys like this out after a few days?

    • F- for reading comprehension. He got away after the pitchfork incident. Condolences to the victim’s family. I agree, take every threat of violence seriously, and be prepared to take action.

  2. Just goes to show you, a threat is a threat. It’s not worth your life to find out if someone is serious about using their weapon, no matter how comical it may appear, or how much the perp’s mother is going to whine after the fact that he never would have actually hurt anyone.

  3. Why oh why was this lowlife walking around? The justice system is that soft in Tennessee? Yikes

    • It depends where you are in TN. In some of the less populated counties they will put you under the jail. I can’t speak for Knoxville, but here in Nashville it’s a revolving door. The judges won’t give serious time unless it’s an especially heinous (read: all over the papers and TV) case. The prosecutors will do anything they can to avoid trial, and in general the system is just bogged down. As a result you get serious criminals doing their thing with little consequence. Probably like most other big cities I would imagine.

    • The reason Tennessee is forced to have this revolving door is, we’re a relatively poor state, but the people love to punish their neighbors. So they elect politicians who create many intrusive and stupid laws against non-violent behaviors like marijuana use and fill the jails and prisons with these peaceful and formally productive people. The voters of Tennessee have yet to discover where government gets the money to do everything for everyone.

  4. Just goes to show, I guess…

    The threat comes from the person holding the weapon, not the weapon itself. (Except for drones, unstabilized nictoglycerine, and poorly-shielded nukes, of course…)

  5. As a previous TTAG poster once chimed, “When the wolf comes, will you contemplate his true nature, try to reason? Or will you put him down?”

  6. Time to sight in those rifles they use in Utah for executions , hey if they want me to do it I volunteer ! Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  7. I take it Moms Demanding Action from Ilegal Mayors in EveryTown don’t eat at Waffle Houses?

    • Of course not. Waffle house is for the unwashed masses; those filthy peasants. If they can’t afford armed security or to live in gated communities, then those bastards deserve what they get. Why the hell would we, the elite, associate with such filth? They aren’t even worthy to lick my garage floor clean.

      /sarc

  8. “The fact that he herded them into the back office should have tipped us off that he was a truly dangerous man.”

    That is what you call a BIG RED FLAG – anytime a criminal tries to get the victims out of sight and hearing, the odds are that he is planning on killing all of them. Although when you get right down to it, anytime someone threatens you with a lethal weapon of any variety, it is a big red flag: fight back.

  9. I eat breakfast at Awful House every Saturday with a good friend because that’s his place of choice. I call it Awful House because they have a “no guns” sign on the door (now an enforceable misdemeanor here). The food and service is fine.
    I just ignore it as my gun is concealed and hope that their national misManagement will some day understand the meaning of the word, “emergency”.

  10. This story can still be funny if you photoshop horns and pitchfork onto this mugshot. Just a thought.

  11. Oh wow, I watched that one one happen. There is a conoco at the intersection at Pellissippi and Lovell that I was fueling up at and saw that car go by. I’m assuming it was his car anyways. Not many other cars get chased by 12 cop cars.
    It was annoying because they rammed him into a ditch and the whole ordeal caused traffic to stop for several hours, and I needed to go that way to get home.
    Still, my home was walking distance from there, makes me feel a bit more vindicated about having the tools needed to defend my home from pitch fork welding home invading murderers.

  12. Oh how we laughed when Jeffery Willard Wooten tried to rob a Waffle House with a pitchfork. . . . Well, police now have Mr. Wooten in custody and there’s nothing funny about his recent criminal activities

    Yeah, it’s all fun and games until somebody gets forked — by a violent serial offender who should have been doing massive time but instead was out and about, trolling for victims.

  13. “… we need to be armed against people wielding any sort of weapon.”

    Indeed
    we
    Indeed
    we
    do.

  14. I mention recidivism of violent crimes frequently on TTAG. This man was clearly let out of jail too soon, which happens with many criminals. The old “well if he can’t be trusted without a gun than he shouldn’t have been let out of jail” fails society. Again. If jails and prisons actually helped rehabilitate criminals, there would be much less need for armed self defense. Sadly, that doesn’t happen.

    We have a flawed justice system and our jails and prisons aren’t much better. Even if they were, I have yet to see how you “fix” someone with a broken moral compass. Perhaps the only way a career criminal and murderer will see justice is at the hands of an armed civilian or a firing squad. His debt to society – if it does in fact include murder – cannot be paid with prison time.

  15. Jeff was weak.
    He couldn’t put down the crack pipe.
    He needs to get the death penalty because he’s never going to change.

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