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Two charged with double murder arraigned

John Thompson • Today at 6:46 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Two of the three men charged in the murders of Joyce Brock, 61, and Russell Glen Shell, 54, had their first appearances in Carter County Criminal Court on Friday.

Jonathan Scott Shell, 22, Roan Mountain, the son of Russell Glen Shell, and Jeffrey Lynn Whitehead, 51, Roan Mountain, were arraigned on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of aggravated arson.

The third defendant, Tyler Daniel Shell (no known relationship), 20, Trade, has been released from jail on $10,000 bond and has not yet been arraigned. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Jonathan Shell and Whitehead have been held in the Carter County Jail on pretrial confinement since their arrests in February. Judge Robert Cupp set bond hearings for both men for April 2.

Brock and Russell Glenn Shell were found dead in the burned garage at 120 Hemlock Lane in the Hampton Creek community of Roan Mountain on June 26, 2012.

Sheriff Chris Mathes said autopsies revealed Brock had been shot once in the throat and a second time in the head. Shell was found with one gunshot wound to the head. The bodies had been soaked with gasoline and set on fire. “It was a horrible scene,” Mathes said during a news conference announcing details of the three arrests.

The three men were arrested after an eight-month investigation that spread over several states.

Attorney Bob McD. Green is representing Whitehead and attorney Frank Slaughter is representing Jonathan Shell.