Suspect in bomb threat, bank robbery in custody
by Ron Harris
Jul 12, 2013 | 5097 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A suspect in last week’s bomb threat at Walker Baptist Medical Center and armed robbery at Traders & Farmers Bank in Curry has been taken into custody in Tennessee.

Brandon Joseph Peake, 32, was arrested by U.S. Marshals Thursday afternoon in Chattanooga.

Arrest warrants were issued for Peake Wednesday night, charging him with first-degree robbery and making terroristic threats. Circuit Judge Jerry Selman, who signed the arrest warrants, also set cash bonds totaling $250,000 for Peake.

Tamra Starr Files, 31, who was deemed a ‘person of interest’ in the case, was also taken into custody but has not been charged, officials said.

Assisting U.S. Marshals in capturing the pair was the Chattanooga Police Department, Hamilton County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office and SWAT team members from Chattanooga.

“Our department is very pleased with the capture and arrest of Brandon Peake,” Jasper Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe said Thursday. “We contacted the U.S. Marshals office (Thursday) morning with information we were receiving about possible locations where this couple might be located. They responded immediately.”

Peake, who officials believe called Walker County E-911 at 8:12 a.m. last Friday saying a bomb had been placed inside Walker Baptist Medical Center, is also believed to be the person who entered Traders & Farmers Bank in Curry waving a handgun just before 4 p.m. last Friday. He demanded keys to the bank’s vault and fled after entering the vault and filling two backpacks with cash.

The bomb threat forced a mass evacuation of the hospital, including critical care patients and one woman who delivered a baby girl in the hospital’s front parking lot. Walker Baptist media relations director Renae McKinney said the bomb threat cost the hospital approximately $75,000.

Walker County Sheriff John Mark Tirey said Thursday’s arrest was the culmination of a lot of hard work and excellent cooperation between the Jasper Police Department, Walker County Sheriff’s Office and Walker County District Attorney’s office.

“I would like to commend all of the law enforcement involved for their tedious efforts, as well as the cooperation between the sheriff’s office, Jasper police and all the other agencies involved,” Tirey said.