The husband of a woman reported missing last week has been charged with attempted murder.
The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that they located Katherine Walker and arrested her husband Phillip Joe Matthews, 41, following an investigation that revealed she fled into hiding after he allegedly tried to kill her with a sword.
On July 31, 2015, Sevier County Sheriff Ron Seals issued a statement asking the public for help locating Walker, who had not been seen for ten days. Officers found her at her workplace on Sunday, Aug. 2, and upon talking with her, determined she had been a victim of domestic violence who left home voluntarily on July 22 and had been hiding from her husband.
Walker told officers that Matthews choked her during an altercation. She removed a sword from the wall, which he took from her and placed to her neck, causing a laceration, and told her she was going to die. Matthews then apparently struck her with the sword again. Walker got away from him and fled the scene, where she got a ride and went to a safe location. She sought treatment for her injuries at a local hospital, but did not notify police.
Officers went to the scene and collected evidence, and based on that evidence, arrested Phillip Joe Matthews, of 1287 N. Creek Side Lane in Sevierville, charging him with attempted first degree murder. Matthews is incarcerated in Sevier County Jail under a $350,000 bond and is awaiting arraignment on Sept. 11 in General Sessions Court.
The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office just last week appointed the county’s first Domestic Violence Officer to address the rising number of domestic violence cases.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.