Timothy Michael Poe – the stuttering soldier accused of lying about military injuries during season seven of AMERICA’S GOT TALENT – has emerged as a hero after all.
The embattled country singer was instrumental in saving the life of a shooting victim in Hurst, Texas, his wife, Carrie, says.
Tim and his bride of just 10 months were unloading a moving truck at their new home in April 2013 when a domestic dispute turned tragic a few hundred feet away. “A lady down the street was shot in the head and the chest,” Carrie reveals in my new book Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America’s Got Talent, on sale now.
“Tim ran straight toward the gunshots and actually saved her life. He gave her first aid until the paramedics got there and then held her head and chest until she got into the ambulance. Tim is very confused about everything that happened to him [in the past], but overall he is a really good person.”
Numerous news reports confirmed that Lenar Corales, 32, was arrested and facing attempted capital murder charges for gunning down his ex-wife and her new boyfriend.
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“I was pretty much unconscious,” victim Alicia King, 33, tells me. “I do know that he helped save my life. He provided emergency medical care until the ambulance could come.” King, who works as a phlebotomist at a nearby hospital, was shot in the forehead and chest. “My sister was there helping Tim at the same time,” she says.
“Between him and her, they were the ones that helped keep me alive.” None of the official police reports mentioned Tim by name. But that’s not entirely surprising, since the war veteran has been keeping a low profile in the wake of his controversial appearance on America’s Got Talent.
During his televised audition in San Antonio, Texas, Tim told judge Howie Mandel that he endured serious brain damage during an explosion in the line of duty. “I spent 14 years in the military, but my career was ended in 2009,” he recounted. “I got hit by a grenade in Afghanistan. It broke my back and gave me a brain injury. That is the reason I stutter a little bit.”
Tim said he had volunteered to help clear out buildings and tend to the wounded when the explosion occurred. Video of his story – and near flawless performance of the Garth Brooks hit “If Tomorrow Never Comes” immediately went viral. But within 24 hours, dozens of his fellow soldiers came forward alleging Tim was a fraud. His problems were compounded when a photo he supplied to the show – claiming to be of himself – turned out to be another serviceman.
National Guard spokesperson Kevin Olson publicly discredited Tim’s story, telling AGTNews.com: “Sgt. Poe’s official military records do not indicate that he was injured by a grenade in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2009, as he reports. The Minnesota National Guard can also confirm that he was not awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds sustained in combat.”
The very public scandal cost Tim custody of his son and nearly ended his new marriage.
In November 2012 the couple appeared on an episode of the Dr. Phil show, during which Tim claims he was “ambushed” and is now planning to sue. “When we got back I told him ‘I don’t know if I can do this anymore,’” Carrie admits. Eventually, she got clearance to speak with one of Tim’s attending doctors at Brooke Army Medical Center. “He told me that everything Tim said was true.”
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