Tennessee Highway Patrol Troopers Arrest Three Murder Suspects
COOKEVILLE- On May 15, 2019, Trooper Adam Cothron of the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s (THP) Interdiction Plus Unit (IPU) stopped a vehicle for a registration violation on Interstate 40 at mile marker 293 in Putnam County. The trooper made contact with the vehicle’s three occupants, none of which were able to produce identification. As Trooper Cothron conducted an interview of the occupants, all were acting extremely nervous and tried to cover-up their identities. Trooper Nathan Thomas arrived on scene and assisted with the roadside investigation and was able to uncover the identities of the three occupants.
The driver, James Berna, 24 years-old, had an active felony warrant for attempted murder out of Clark County, Indiana. He also had active felony warrants out of Indiana for escape and failure to appear on the charges of assisting in an armed robbery, conspiracy of robbery, marijuana possession and habitual traffic offender.
The first passenger, Alexander Jester, 18 years-old, also had an active felony warrant for attempted murder out of Clark County, Indiana.
The second passenger Dalton Skirvin, 22 years-old, had an active felony warrant for attempted murder out of Clark County, Indiana in addition to several active felony warrants. After his arrest, Skirvin revealed to law enforcement that he had one ounce of methamphetamine secretly hidden within his body.
THP’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Lieutenant Troy Human and Trooper Jeff Phann assisted with the investigation.
All three suspects were arrested and transported to the Putnam County jail for booking. Booking photos may be obtained by contacting the Putnam County jail. Berna was charged with criminal impersonation and fugitive from justice. Jester was charged with fugitive from justice and Skirvin was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, introduction of contraband into the Putnam County jail and fugitive from justice.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.