An Anderson County woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the death of J.C. Copeland, an 83-year-old Rocky Top man, and she was sentenced to life in prison plus an extra 20 years.
Christy Viola Comer, 41, entered the guilty plea in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton on Tuesday afternoon.
Comer had planned to rob Copeland, who was described as a “sweet old man,” because “it would be easy,” according to testimony during a preliminary hearing in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Clinton in January 2019.
Comer traded some of the property stolen from Copeland’s home, a digital video disc player, for a $10 bag of methamphetamine, according to court testimony by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent John Hannon.
Copeland’s body was found partially wrapped in a pink blanket underneath a porch at a mobile home on Jacksboro Avenue in Rocky Top on August 31, 2018, Hannon said. Copeland is believed to have been strangled until he died, according to court records. There was white rope around his neck and other parts of his body, including his wrists and ankles, Hannon testified during the preliminary hearing.
“In the overnight hours of August 30, 2018, Christy Comer made the decision to rob him (Copeland) to get money for methamphetamine,” Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark said in a press release Tuesday.
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