Update: former Kingsport alderman pleads guilty to DUI charge - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Update: former Kingsport alderman pleads guilty to DUI charge

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Former Kingsport Alderman Jantry Shupe pleaded guilty today in court to DUI first offense.

Shupe was arrested July 5th in Kingsport after a traffic stop.  Two days later, he resigned from the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Alderman.

Shupe was sentenced to 48 hours in jail along with 11 months and 29 days of probation.


The Kingsport Board of Mayor and Alderman will now appoint someone to fill an empty seat on the board following former Alderman Jantry Shupe's resignation Monday.

Shupe stepped down from his post following his arrest over the weekend for driving under the influence.

The Board of Mayor and Alderman will appoint someone to serve out the remainder of Shupe's term, which ends July 1, 2015. 

The next municipal election is May 2015.

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Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips confirmed around 5:20 p.m. that Alderman Jantry Shupe resigned from the Board of Mayor and Alderman Monday afternoon.

Earlier Monday, News Channel 11's Allie Hinds spoke with Phillips about Shupe's latest DUI arrest, and Phillip's said the Board has no power to remove an alderman or mayor.

"It's certainly up to him as far as resignation or continuing to serve out his term," Phillips said. 

Following the airing of the story on News Channel 11 at 5 p.m., a release was sent out from Phillips explaining that Shupe had decided to resign from his position on the Board.

"This afternoon, I have received a letter of resignation from Alderman Jantry Shupe. I applaud his decision as I believe it is in the best interest of the community," Phillips said. "Unfortunately for the Board of Mayor and Alderman and the City, his personal struggles and subsequent legal encounters have become a major distraction to the daily operation of the City."

Phillips added that Shupe has served "honorably in the past, and the Board and I are hopeful this represents a first step forward in his path to recovery. Jantry has many challenges ahead. By taking this step now, he can focus solely on what is most important ... coming to grips with his personal challenges."

The mayor said in the release that public service requires a greater responsibility and accountability, and said Shupe's "repeated personal failings" cast the Board in a negative light.

"Jantry has a bright future ahead of him if he will seek the appropriate counsel, accept responsibility and grab the reigns of his life," Phillips said. "After speaking with Jantry, we are confident he will continue on the path to recovery and we stand ready to support him in that effort in any manner possible."

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A Kingsport alderman was reportedly arrested Saturday on DUI charges, just one year after being charged with the same crime.

According to a Tennessee Highway Patrol report, a trooper saw a 2012 Chrysler 200, driven by Elmer Jantry Shupe, Jr., 39, of Kingsport, traveling north on State Route 93, when it abruptly turned right onto the exit ramp to East Stone Drive.

The vehicle reportedly turned left and the trooper saw it cross out of its lane and across the fog line approximately 6-inches.

According to the report, the vehicle then made another abrupt right turn onto Brookside Drive from the right lane instead of using the right turn lane.

Shupe’s vehicle then turned right onto Pavilion Drive, where the trooper conducted a traffic stop.

The trooper said during the traffic stop a strong odor of what appeared to be an alcoholic beverage was coming from the vehicle and when Shupe was out of the vehicle, he smelt alcohol on Shupe’s breath.

Shupe was then asked to perform several on-scene sobriety tests, and was reportedly unsuccessful.

He was arrested and taken to Indian Path Medical Center for a blood test, but Shupe refused the blood test.

Shupe was charged with DUI and violation of implied consent law, and was taken to the Sullivan County Jail.

He reportedly waived his appearance in Kingsport Sessions Court Monday and information on his next court date was unavailable.

Shupe was also arrested back in June 2013 on a DUI charge, but was found not guilty after a judge said arresting officers failed to preserve evidence and didn’t read Shupe his Miranda Rights.

News Channel 11's Allie Hinds contributed to this report.

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