SMYRNA – A couple accused of barricading themselves inside a home Tuesday morning are facing multiple charges following a nearly four-hour standoff with authorities.
No one was seriously injured during the incident that occurred in the 500 block of Carter Lane, according to officials with the Smyrna Police Department.
Chief Kevin Arnold said his officers responded to the house in reference to a domestic dispute involving an armed suspect, identified as Jonathan S. Ashley, 27, and his 23-year-old girlfriend, Ashley M. Joyce.
According to Smyrna police, Ashley Joyce was arguing with her brother and his girlfriend outside of the home when Ashley reportedly came outside, pointed a loaded handgun at the couple and threatened to kill them.
Arnold said police learned about the situation a short time later and responded to the house to investigate the claims.
“Today, at a little after 10 a.m., the Police Department received a call of a possible domestic situation,” Arnold said. “Our officers arrived and attempted to make contact with Ashley and (Ashley) Joyce. Both refused, at which point it was decided that the best option would be the SWAT team.”
He said negotiators attempted calling Ashley and Ashley Joyce through their cell phones and public address systems, but neither suspect would speak with authorities.
After more than three hours of failed attempts, Arnold said “the decision was made to deploy tear gas in an attempt to speak with us.”
“When the tear gas deployed, Ashley and (Ashley) Joyce came out of the home and surrendered peacefully,” Arnold said, adding that the gas canisters ignited a small fire in the home, but the Smyrna Fire Department quickly extinguished it.
Ashley is now facing two counts of aggravated assault, as well as a charge for violating the terms of his probation.
Ashley Joyce has also been charged with one count of domestic violence and simple assault in connection with the incident.
Both have been booked into the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center, where they will remain until a judicial commissioner can decide on a bond amount and schedule a preliminary hearing in the case.