2016 was the year of several high-profile court cases taking place in Roane County or involving residents. Rocky Houston continued to make headlines after being convicted of a federal firearms charge the previous year. Houston tried to get his conviction removed by both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Both bodies upheld the convictions. Houston is serving a nine year sentence in Kentucky. The case involving the starvation of 2-year-old Clifford Dodson at the hands of his parents was postponed several times in the past year. The child’s father, Mathew, had several court postponements concerning changes of attorneys and judges. His mother Amanda is being tried separately. In another highly publicized court case, Accused murderer Shawn Smoot was found guilty of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Brook Morris in Oct. 2011. He was sentenced to serve life in prison without a chance for parole. In other news, Harriman police chief Randy Heidle resigned amid ethics violations allegations, and former Rockwood city employee Thomas William Pierce was arrested after threatening the former mayor of the city and other city employees. And in November, residents of Rockwood okayed wine sales in the city’s grocery stores and Oliver Springs residents approved liquor-by-the-drink sales.