Former Highland Games Employee Faces Weapons, Attempted Murder Charges | State and regional news

The former office manager of the popular Grandfather Mountain Highland Games has been jailed for gun crime and attempted murder following intense police activity at the Blue Ridge Mountain office.

Thomas Dewey Taylor, 43, is being held at Avery County Jail on bail set at $ 500,000. The State Bureau of Investigation charged him with possession of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted murder on Monday night, Sheriff Kevin Frye said.

Stephen Quillin, president of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, said Taylor was fired as the organization’s office manager in August. Taylor’s arrest was linked to an incident at the Mitchell Avenue office in Linville, Quillin said, and photos of the Avery Journal show the building surrounded by emergency vehicles.

The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games feature traditional Gaelic music, drumming and dancing, but are best known for their Scottish-style sporting challenges, particularly the Caber Throw, which involves throwing a 16-20 foot pole.

Organizers held the 65th annual games in July after COVID-19 triggered a year-long hiatus, and Taylor described the ‘changing of the clans’ torchlight ceremony for WFDD radio.


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Jennifer R. Strohm

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