Note: This story was updated at 1:20 p.m. September 3.
A Rocky Top woman has been arrested and charged with homicide in the death of an 83-year-old man, state authorities said.
Christy Viola Comer, 37, was arrested by special agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, with help from several local law enforcement agencies, a TBI press release said.
On Friday morning, authorities found the body of J.C. Copeland outside of his home in the 600 block of Jacksboro Avenue in Rocky Top. TBI agents started investigating at the request of Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark and with help from the Rocky Top Police Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, and Seventh Judicial District Crime Task Force.
“During the course of the investigation, authorities developed information leading to Comer as an individual responsible for Copeland’s death,” the press release said.
Comer has been charged with one count of criminal homicide. She has been booked into the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton, and her bond has been set at $1 million.
The homicide investigation remains active and ongoing, the TBI said.
Clark, the DA, said Chief Jim Shetterly of the Rocky Top Police Department contacted him Friday morning about the possible homicide.
“We agreed that assistance would be helpful,” Clark said. “So, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and the Seventh Crime Task Force were asked for immediate assistance, and I contacted the TBI to lead the investigation. All of these agencies did a wonderful job working together like they had rehearsed it a hundred times. I could not have been more proud of all of them.”
By midnight, Clark said, a suspect had been located in Knoxville by Shetterly and Rocky Top Officer and Crime Task Force Agent Mitch Wade. Comer, the suspect, was then booked into the Anderson County Detention Facility on the homicide charge by the TBI, Clark said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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