The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

October 15, 2013

BREAKING: Resident helps authorities find alleged stabber in Limestone

By Jean Cole
jean@athensnews-courier.com

— An observant citizen and a Limestone County Sheriff’s deputy apprehended a fugitive wanted for stabbing his nephew Sunday night in northeastern Limestone County.

Limestone County authorities had been looking for James Earl Roberts, 49, of 25823 George Lane, since he allegedly stabbed his nephew, Rod Swearengin, 33, of the same trailer park, during a domestic disturbance about 6 p.m. Sunday. Roberts ran off and, despite attempts to find him with tracking dogs and a helicopter, had been on the lam ever since.

Swearengin, who was flown by medical helicopter to Huntsville Hospital, had tried to break up a domestic quarrel between Roberts and his wife when he was stabbed in the abdomen.

“We received a call about 3:15 p.m. from a resident off Oak Grove Road who thought they spotted the man involved in the stabbing walking down the road,” Sheriff Mike Blakely said Tuesday afternoon. The resident had seen the photographs of the suspect that had been widely published by various media since Sunday.

With the eyewitness report, Deputy Dale Townsend found Roberts in a field just off Sweet Springs Road, Blakely said.

Roberts was arrested on the outstanding warrant for first-degree assault as well as on third-degree domestic violence. He was being held in the Limestone County Jail, where bail is set at $10,500.