KNOXVILLE (WATE) – After almost a week of testimony and just over three hours of deliberations, a jury found Shawn Smoot guilty of first degree premeditated murder of Brooke Morris in 2011.
The jury started deliberations at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday and announced their verdict at 4:15 p.m. The jury then left the courtroom to begin the sentencing phase. Later on, Morris’s mother and sister testified as part of the sentencing hearing. Jurors adjourned for the night and will resume Thursday morning.
Smoot was convicted of murdering his former girlfriend, Brooke Morris, in October of 2011. His trial has been delayed 22 times. His fifth attorney was appointed in April.
During the trial, a detective who searched Smoot’s home after the murder testified he found a box of ammo that was consistent with the caliber discovered at the crime scene. In cross-examination, the defense asked if the detective knew for sure it was Smoot’s ammo. Smoot’s ex-wife and friends of Morris were also called as witnesses.Previous story:Detective, ex-wife take stand in second day of Shawn Smoot murder trial
Morris’s landlord also took the stand saying she was told there was screaming coming from Morris’s apartment so she went to the apartment and found Morris. She said Morris told her Smoot had broken into the apartment and beat her and tried to rape her.Previous story:Victim’s friends testify in Shawn Smoot murder trial
The state is seeking life without the possibility of parole in this case.