Case against suspects in Knoxville mummified body investigation bound over to grand jury after 3rd suspect waives preliminary hearing

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The case against three suspects charged in the discovery of a mummified body discovered in Knoxville has been bound over to a grand jury after the third and final suspect elected to bypass a preliminary hearing.

Tommy Rose, 62, Deborah Gister, 41, and Christina McCormack, 48, have been charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence after the body of 66-year-old Donald Moore was found wrapped in a tarp inside a storage shed at 2306 Greenfield Lane.

RELATED‘Mummified body’ victim killed for Social Security benefits, warrant says

Tommy Rose appears in a Knox County court on Tuesday, Oct. 29. Source: WATE

Rose appeared in a Knox County court Tuesday and elected to bypass a preliminary hearing and go to a grand jury trial. He was scheduled to appear alongside Gister and McCormack on Oct. 17 but the date was reset due to medical issues.

Investigators said on Oct. 17 that Gister and McCormack gave conflicting statements about the night of the crime.

Investigators testified that the three codefendants were at the house when authorities arrived. Rose would not give investigators permission to search property, and specifically the storage unit, without a search warrant.

Gister told investigators Moore was killed for use of his social security benefits and said McCormack stabbed the victim in the eye.

Gister had initially said on the night of Oct. 6 that all three moved Moore’s body to the shed but then changed her story. Conflicting statements have been given as to who was present when the victim was killed.

McCormack’s lawyer says there was a fifth individual at the scene but cannot be identified.

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