Four charged in Tellico Lake drowning incident

Four charged in Tellico Lake drowning incident

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MARYVILLE (WATE) - The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has filed charges against four people after a man drowned in a March accident.

Cory Smith, 22, of Maryville, Chelsea Briggs, 19, of Maryville, Eric Morgan, 22, of Rockford, and Stephen Parker, 22, of Maryville have all been charged with interfering with or impeding an investigation.

Smith was also charged with unauthorized use of an automobile or joyriding.

The charges stem from a drowning on Tellico Lake.

Eddie Russell, 25, of Maryville, was in a canoe with Smith, Morgan and Parker when it capsized near the Harrison Branch boat ramp.

Smith and Parker swam to shore, while Morgan remained with the canoe and was rescued by Blount County officials.

Briggs witnessed the incident from the boat ramp.

Russell's body was recovered early the next morning.

The canoe was not equipped with a life vest, lifesaver or other flotation device.

Briggs, Morgan and Parker were cited. Smith was arrested and released on a $500 bond.

All four are slated to appear in Blount County General Sessions court on July 26.

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