‘Blasphemous,’ ‘offensive’ notes left at Dekalb County churches, radio station

Courtesy: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

DEKALB COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Smithville man faces two dozen charges after investigators say he posted “blasphemous” and “offensive” notes on at least five churches and a radio station in DeKalb County.

According to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, 57-year-old Laddie Jerrells was arrested last Wednesday.

Beginning in May, deputies said Jerrells posted the notes on front doors, buildings and signs, though the content of the notes has not been released.

Two of the churches hit were in Smithville, while the other three were in the county.

Courtesy: Pastor Bernard Houk

First Free Will Baptist Church was actually hit twice, according to Pastor Bernard Houk. Both incidents were caught on a surveillance camera.

“My first thought was, were we targeted?” the pastor told News 2. “The notes that he left, targeted Jesus Christ. Every one of them said really bad things. Ugly things about Jesus.”

Jerrells’ charges include vandalism, desecration of honored places, disorderly conduct and harassment.

“I wished he’d say I’m really sorry that I did that. I’ll never do that again, and we could forget it all,” Houk said.

Jerrells’ son told News 2 that his father suffers from schizophrenia.

The suspect is being held in the DeKalb County jail on a $36,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 20.