A fugitive wanted on local drug charges was gunned down in the Doyle area of White County by a man authorities say was on the scene when they raided the victim’s home last month.
The victim, James Caldwell, was shot twice with a handgun allegedly wielded by James H. Lackey, 36, of Lewisburg. Both men have ties to Warren County and lawmen here were actually looking for Caldwell to arrest him on a sealed narcotics indictment when he was shot Thursday.
Lackey has been charged with criminal homicide and is being held under $1 million bond.
Lackey turned himself at the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department where he confessed to the shooting, directing lawmen to a residence belonging to the Caldwell family on Franks Ferry Road in Doyle. Authorities used the Google Earth program on their computer to pinpoint the location. Lawmen then found the body of Caldwell at the home.
Lackey maintained he was afraid to turn himself in to White County authorities, instead opting to travel an hour to turn himself in at Bedford County Jail where he knew a deputy there. White County detective Chris Isom said there has been no reason found for Lackey’s claim of being scared to present himself to White County lawmen.
“There’s no merit we can find about his fear of the White County Jail,” Isom said, noting evidence found at the scene of the shooting also suggests Lackey may be lying about what happened. “What we are finding is inconsistent with his statement.”
Lackey maintains he acted in self-defense in shooting Caldwell. A motive for the shooting has not been revealed. However, lawmen here say Caldwell was on the run at the time of the shooting.
Specifically, Caldwell had reportedly been named in a sealed indictment after officers raided a residence and found what they called a large amount of marijuana. While Caldwell was indicted, Lackey, who was reportedly present at the time of the raid, was not indicted.