Convicted moonshiner "Popcorn" Sutton dead of apparent suicide

Convicted moonshiner "Popcorn" Sutton dead of apparent suicide

Posted: Updated:

PARROTSVILLE (WATE) -- Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton, who gained fame and notoriety as a moonshiner, died Monday in Cocke County, sheriff's deputies said.

According to a Cocke County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, it appeared that Sutton, 61, took his own life.

A Cocke County constable told 6 News his body was discovered in his vehicle by his wife. He's  believed to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning

Sutton was scheduled to begin serving soon an 18-month sentence in federal prison Friday.

He pleaded guilty in March 2008 to one count of felony possession of a firearm and one count of unlawful production of distilled spirits.

In a raid of three of Sutton's properties, officers found three stills and more than 800 gallons of moonshine being stored in an old school bus.

A later investigation turned up nearly 800 more gallons of moonshine.

Federal agents said it was the largest moonshine operation they had seen.

Sutton built a reputation as an unrepentant moonshiner, even appearing in documentaries on the subject. He also wrote an autobiography called "Me and my Likker."

At Sagebrush Restaurant in Newport, 6 News spoke to friends and acquaintances of Sutton.

"He was a pretty good old guy. He was just a little old short man with a long beard and wears a hat like Jed Clampett," said Jared Freeman.

"The culture of the Smoky Mountains, the culture and heritage, I felt like he embodied that," said Jason Smith.

"He was a great guy. A great individual to know," said Shannon Parks.

"He believed in what he did. He thought what he did was right. A lot of people felt it was a waste of the federal government's money to go after him because he didn't hurt nobody," said Lynn Human.

"He was a legend of Cocke County, North Carolina and East Tennessee. As far as the future goes, I don't think there will be another Popcorn," Smith said.

"He was the best. It's the end of an era," Human said.

"Oh, he's in heaven right now making moonshine for eternity," Parks said.



Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.