Accused Johnson City killer in court: "I'm a 14-time felon"

Becky Campbell • Apr 4, 2013 at 10:36 PM

By his own admission, a man charged with first-degree felony murder said Thursday during his arraignment that he’s a 14-time felon.

Marcus Petenathan Gergish, 34, 1206 Flora Ave., appeared in Washington County Sessions Court to hear the charge against him. Judge Don Arnold read the affidavit charging Gergish after the man said he didn’t really understand the charge.

Gergish is charged with shooting to death Timothy Peregoy Sr., 47, of Kingsport. He died early Wednesday morning at Johnson City Medical Center. Police found him on a sidewalk at Westgate Village Apartments, 1735 Nathaniel Drive, with two gunshot wounds.

Peregoy and his wife, whose name was not documented in court records, were apparently in Johnson City visiting his son.

According to Johnson City police investigators, Gergish was in Apartment No. 55, where Peregoy and his family were, to buy Suboxone strips. After the alleged transaction, Gergish left. Peregoy, his wife and son also left a short time later. Witnesses told police they heard an altercation and saw Peregoy sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle and Gergish pointing a handgun at him. Gergish apparently saw the witnesses, pointed the gun at them and then back at Peregoy.

They overheard Gergish tell Peregoy to “give it up, give it up,” before the witnesses heard two shots. Gergish and another person ran from the scene, police said.

JCPD Capt. Mike Street would not say if police have recovered the weapon used in the shooting. He said investigators needed to confer with the District Attorney General’s Office before releasing specific details about the incident.

During Gergish’s arraignment Thursday, he filled out an affidavit of indigency requesting a court-appointed attorney. He apparently didn’t complete the form, so Arnold asked him why.

“I filled it out like I’ve been shown before,” Gergish said. Arnold asked if Gergish had been in court on prior charges.

“I’m a 14-time felon, your honor,” Gergish said.

Gergish has a long history of criminal charges dating back to 1996, when he was charged with underage consumption less than a month after he turned 18.

After a second underage consumption conviction, Gergish’s criminal activity turned to burglaries, assaults, drug fraud and multiple thefts. Most recently, Gergish pleaded guilty last year to criminal trespassing and theft under $500. He was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days in jail — 80 days in jail and the rest on probation.

In 2010, Gergish was convicted of 17 counts of identity theft, 18 counts of theft under $500 and one count of forgery under $500.

Those charges stemmed from Gergish using a bank card and several personal checks stolen from a Piney Flats woman. He pleaded guilty to nine counts of identity theft and one count of forgery. He was sentenced to six years’ probation. A violation of probation warrant was filed in February in that case.

Gergish is being held on $100,000 bond. Arnold set a preliminary hearing for April 11 at 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday was not the first time Peregoy had been shot. His nephew, Teddy Peregoy Jr., shot Timothy Peregoy Sr. on April 27, 2003, with an AK-47. The men had an argument and fight prior to the shooting at a home on Lakeridge Drive in Gray near where each of them lived at the time. Teddy Peregoy Jr. fired two shots, but his uncle was hit by only one in the upper torso in the altercation.

In an unrelated incident on Oct. 20, 2005, Teddy Peregoy Jr. was shot and killed by his father, Teddy Peregoy Sr., after they got into an argument about a car.

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