By SUSAN SHARP
JACKSBORO, TN. (WLAF) – Charles Wilson is in jail following a hearing in criminal court yesterday.
Wilson was arrested in May 2023 for allegedly defrauding multiple homeowners into parting with their money after he made empty promises to repair or replace their heat and air units. CLICK HERE for a related story.
Wilson had been out on bond since his arrest.
This changed after a Knoxville homeowner contacted WLAF and the Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s office.
In Dec. 2023, Charlene Gwin contacted WLAF after reading the story detailing Wilson’s alleged crimes in Campbell County. Wilson had been paid upfront by Gwin to replace a heat and air unit at her home but never completed the work, Gwin said.
Yesterday, Gwin testified at Wilson’s bond revocation hearing.
Wilson, who was arrested on May 23, 2023, met with Gwin at her home on May 25, 2023. While she had already paid him $2,100, Wilson was at her home asking for another $2,500 to rent a crane to place the unit on top of the house.
Gwin wasn’t suspicious of Wilson, because he had completed work at her home in the past, she testified.
By July, the unit still hadn’t been installed, and Wilson was shifting the blame to the crane operator, she said.
Phone calls and texts went unanswered and certified letters were returned after Wilson failed to sign for them, Gwin testified of her attempts to recoup her money.
Asking the court to take judicial notice of the timing between Wilson’s arrests and these events, Eighth Judicial District Attorney General Andi Bridges asked for Wilson’s bond to be revoked.
Daniel Forrester, Wilson’s attorney, said the dealings between his client and Gwin occurred more than a month before Wilson’s arrest with the initial payment being made to Wilson in April. A bond is meant to ensure a defendant will appear in court, he said.
“And to protect the public,” said Eighth Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Zach Walden. He also told Forrester his client was booked on May 23, 2023, and just days later the incident with Gwin happened.
Attempting to argue his client had complied with the law since bonding out of jail Forrester was told “I don’t agree,” by Walden.
“He has continued to retain stolen money,” Walden said. “What other options do I have to keep him from taking people’s money?”
Wilson didn’t know of Gwin’s allegations and was “shocked” when he learned of them, Forrester told the court.
With Walden still trying to determine a bond condition that would stop Wilson from repeating his alleged crimes, Forrester said it was a moot point.
Wilson’s arrest and court proceedings “had been published on WLAF and that killed his business.”
Countering Wilson’s arrest hadn’t deterred him, Bridges said he made bond on May 23 and “the very next day,” he was attempting to get money from Gwin. “He had the audacity to engage in the same conduct he made bond for.”
Wilson’s bond was revoked by Walden.
Forrester can file a motion to reinstate bond at a later date if provisions can be put in place to protect the public.
Wilson’s next court date if March 25. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 1/9/2024 -6AM)