Decision due on man's bond in Knoxville woman's murder case

Decision due on man's bond in Knoxville woman's murder case

Shawn Nelson Smoot Shawn Nelson Smoot

6 News Anchor/Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) - A man charged with killing his ex-girlfriend in Roane County, was back in court Friday for a bond hearing. However, the decision on the state's request for a $500,000 bond is still pending.

Shawn Nelson Smoot is charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Brooke Morris, 23, of Knoxville. Her body was found on a Roane County road in October 2011.

Smoot was placed on Roane County's Most Wanted List in June after he didn't turn himself in at a scheduled court appearance. He was arrested a few days later in Mississippi, then extradited to Tennessee.

Smoot has been kept in an isolated cell since his arrest. He was brought to the Roane County Courthouse Friday in his orange jailhouse uniform, but came into court in a suit a short time later.

Smoot's original bond was set at $100,000, but it was revoked when he failed to appear.

The state asked Friday for the bond to be set at $500,000, saying Smoot knew he was scheduled to turn himself in, but chose not to. A prosecutor argued that a higher bond would ensure Smoot's appearance at all future hearings.  

Defense attorney Walter Johnson said Smoot didn't flee his court appearance because he had moved to Mississippi months earlier and was living there.

Pearl River County, Mississippi Sheriff David Allison, who made the arrest, also said Smoot had been living in Mississippi for several months before his arrest.

His attorney said Smoot didn't know whether to turn himself in because his former attorneys had dropped him. He asked for the bond to be set again at $100,000.

The judge will decide on the bond amount on or before next Friday, August 17. The family of Brooke Morris has said they thought Smoot's $100,000 bond was too low for the crime.

Morris' family attended Friday's hearing and has said they will attend each one.

After court the family was very emotional. Brooke's mother, Tina Gregg, said she had no comment at this time.

A status hearing is scheduled for November 9.

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