Hamblen County family pushes for justice; Convicted murderer up for parole

Local News

A Hamblen County family is anxious that justice may end for them because one of the two people convicted in killing their loved one in a cold case is now up for parole in about a month.

Mickey Moore was murdered in 2003 in the driveway of her Hamblen County home after returning from a local pharmacy. She died of blunt force trauma. Investigators say she was found after a friend couldn’t reach her for more than 24 hours.

More: 2 charged in Hamblen County 13-year-old cold case

Johnny and Carmen Kirk, both of Morristown, were charged in 2015 with first degree murder, felony murder and robbery. 

The Moore family said they received notice on Friday that Johnny Kirk is up for parole on March 14. He’s currently being housed at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary. The Tennessee Department of Correction says Johnny Kirk has been ordered to serve a minimum of 30 percent of his sentence.

“It took over 14 years for this to bring closure to us. It is nice to finally know who and why and what and have some of those blanks filled in,” said Moore’s niece, Kim Sipe.

The Kirks were arrested in 2015 and the case went to trial in 2017. Johnny Kirk began serving his sentence on July 27, 2017.

“There’s so many times over the years I’ve thought, gosh, I wish Mickey knew. I wish I could tell Mickey. When I graduated college, because I have a picture with her on the day I graduated high school, I want a picture of her when I graduated college,” said Sipe.

The family says it feels surreal to learn that Johnny Kirk has his first parole hearing scheduled next month, the day before what would have been Mickey’s birthday.

“It really just pulled the rug out from under me because I don’t know, I knew it was coming. I’m not naive, I know the law, I know what happens but I was not prepared for it as quickly,” added Sipe.

The Moore family says it feels like they’re starting over and while they’ve forgiven, they have not forgotten.

“Less than two years is not enough. I’m not looking for retribution. I’m not looking for payment. I’m just looking for people to own up and take responsibility for what your actions are,” Sipe said.

The family says they’re hoping the community writes letters to the Probation and Parole Board on behalf of their family, asking for Johnny Kirk to stay incarcerated.

TDOC adds if Kirk is not granted parole, the board will then decide how long he’ll need to wait before his next parole hearing.

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