The Rocky Top woman charged with homicide last week admitted stealing from an 83-year-old man who was believed to have been strangled at his home on Friday, according to Anderson County court records.
The body of J.C. Copeland was found outside of his home in the 600 block of Jacksboro Avenue in Rocky Top on Friday morning, authorities said last week.
Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation 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 TBI said in a press release over the weekend.
An affidavit filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Clinton said Christy Viola Comer, 37, who has been charged with criminal homicide, conspired to participate in the robbery and killing of Copeland. Copeland is believed to have been strangled to death, the affidavit said.
An affidavit is a short, narrative description of a crime included with an arrest warrant.
The affidavit for Comer said she admitted during an interview that she intentionally stole property from inside and outside Copeland’s home.
Comer also admitted that she intentionally moved Copeland’s body outside of his home, hiding it under the porch in an attempt to conceal the corpse, the affidavit said.
“Ms. Comer did intentionally, knowingly, and premeditatedly participate in the robbery and killing of J.C. Copeland,” the affidavit said.
Criminal homicide is a Class A felony.
Bond on that charge has been set at $1 million. She remained jailed at the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton early Wednesday afternoon.
Comer also has a failure to appear charge listed in jail records, with an additional $5,000 bond.
She has a court date set for September 10 in Anderson County General Session Court in Clinton.
Clark, the district attorney general, 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.”
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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