‘She made a serious mistake’: Missing Summer Wells’ father says wife ‘apologized’ for his domestic violence arrest

The father of a missing Tennessee girl has come under scrutiny after court records showed that he has a previous domestic assault arrest. But Don Wells suggested in a recent interview that he was not responsible for an October incident that led to criminal charges and his wife’s request for an order of protection.

Summer Wells, 5, was reported missing on June 15 from her Hawkins County home. Investigators from multiple agencies have participated in a large scale search for the girl in the remote east Tennessee region, while authorities have said the circumstances of Summer’s initial disappearance remain unclear. Still, a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesperson said on Thursday that Summer’s parents have continued to cooperate.

As previously reported, WJHL obtained court documents showing that Don Wells was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault in October, following an incident involving his wife. The day after the arrest, Summer’s mother Candus Bly Wells requested an order of protection against her husband, claiming in the documents that Don Wells was physically and mentally abusive.

“I am afraid for my children and myself,” she wrote.

Asked by a WJHL reporter about the arrest — not his only brush with the law — Don Wells indicated he and his family had moved on.

“We’ve worked it out, she’s apologized to me,” Wells said. “She’s went to the district attorneys, she even went to judge and told them she made a serious mistake and that’s the end of it.”

All charges against Don Wells stemming from the October 2020 incident were dropped except for a charge of possessing a handgun while under the influence.

In his previous home of Utah, Wells was charged with numerous offenses including burglary, attempted aggravated assault, and interfering with a public servant.

Wells told WHJL that the out-of-state charges are “in the past, and we’ll leave it there.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND or the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office at 423-272-7121

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