MELVIN HOLLOW COMMUNITY, TN (WLAF) – There was no shortage of drama and danger along Laurel Branch Road Monday evening through daybreak on Tuesday. One deputy called it “a wild situation” as investigators say there are still a lot of unknowns in a series of events that began unfolding with a call to central dispatch Monday at 7:30 pm.

A 911 call from a home in the 400 block of Laurel Branch Road reported gunshots had been heard and her home had been struck. Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Fox said the woman was standing inside her house when a truck pulled up, and, a man, later identified as James Lee Ayers, allegedly began shooting at Greg Bolton; one of the rounds fired struck a window of the house hitting a CD stand inside the home. Fox located the path of that bullet that hit the window and the CD stand.

Bolton had gotten into an altercation about a phone call with Ayers who then allegedly used a baseball bat to repeatedly strike Bolton about the head and torso, the report said. Bolton showed his bruises and a cut around his ear to Fox.

Bolton attempted to flee the situation. He went to the driveway of the home and met up with his girlfriend. Bolton also told Fox Ayers drove his truck down the hill, stopped, got out and allegedly fired five or six rounds from a handgun in the direction of Bolton, his girlfriend and the house. Bolton’s girlfriend corroborated his story.

A juvenile told Fox he witnessed the initial assault. The young man said Bolton was attempting to hand a telephone to Ayers when Ayers became irritated. That’s when Ayers allegedly retrieved the baseball bat from the bed of his truck and began assaulting Bolton, according to the juvenile’s account in the report from the sheriff’s office. The young man did say that Bolton fled and was shortly followed by Ayers.

Fox remained in the Stinking Creek Road, Melvin Hollow and Laurel Branch Road area for much of the night after wrapping up the initial call around 10:30 pm Monday. Just after 5 am Tuesday, Fox was called to another home on Laurel Branch Road where Ayers was allegedly beating on the door of the home trying to get in. The homeowner told the deputy that Ayers was in a nearby field.

Ayers was found in the field and arrested. Ayers allegedly asked, “Is this about Greg Bolton? I told him I was going to kill him. I tried to kill him, and if I see him again, I am going to kill him,” the report said.

Hours after Ayers’ arrest, Fox learned Ayers’ pick-up truck had been found over an embankment, wrecked and abandoned on Melvin Hollow. Inside the bed of the truck, Fox located a 9MM shell casing and a baseball bat; the same bat believed to have been used in the original assault on Bolton.

Ayers, 44, 296 Laurel Branch Road, La Follette, remains in the Campbell County Jail this morning without bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on May 10. Ayers is charged with attempted second-degree murder, possessing a firearm in commission of a felony and two counts of reckless endangerment. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/13/2022-6AM)