Roane County murder suspect arrested in Mississippi

Roane County murder suspect arrested in Mississippi

Posted: Updated:
Shawn Nelson Smoot (source: Pearl River County Sheriff's Office) Shawn Nelson Smoot (source: Pearl River County Sheriff's Office)

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) – A fugitive accused of murdering his former lover was arrested Tuesday night in Pearl River, Miss.

Shawn Nelson Smoot was taken into custody after a traffic stop around 9:00 p.m.

Pearl County Sheriff David Allison was on his way to meet some deputies in the Walkeye area of the county. They had received information that Smoot was in the area.

On the way there, the sheriff said he saw Smoot make a U-turn in a green Toyota pickup truck.

The sheriff stopped Smoot and arrested him with a 12 gauge pump shotgun and ammunition in the cab of the truck.

"He and my older kids went to school together, elementary school and high school, so he graduated with some of my children and he was a friend of theirs," Sheriff Allison said. "He was a pretty frequent visitor at my home in the 90s and maybe even in the early 2000s when these kids were growing up."

The sheriff said Smoot cooperated during his arrest.

Smoot was indicted last week by a Roane County grand jury. Prosecutors say he shot and killed his former girlfriend, Brooke Morris, in October 2011.

Morris, 23, left behind a young son.

Prior to the arrest, Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton told 6 News he believed it was just days away.

Investigators think Smoot had been in touch with friends from the Knoxville area.

"We hope these people are not just enabling him to avoid authorities and get away," Sheriff Stockton said.

Investigators thought there was a possibility Smoot was on the run with someone from the Knoxville area.

"I do know he has violent tendencies. If someone is with him, they need to be aware of that," Stockton warned.

The victim's mother, Tina Gregg, held a celebration of life last week for Morris, in part because they were celebrating an indictment eight months after the young woman's murder.

The family is relieved. The mother says one possible advantage of Smoot running from police is that he won't be released on bail when he is returned to Roane County.

If that happens, it would mean he'd stay behind bars until his trial. A judge revoked Smoot's $100,000 bond on Monday when he failed to turn himself in and appear in court.

Smoot agreed to be extradited back to Tennessee.

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