Kelvin Barnard Conerway Jr.
The woman found dead in the front yard of a home where law enforcement found a hallucinogenic mushroom growing operation lived at the residence and was the wife of the man charged with growing the drugs.
On Wednesday, Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal identified the woman as Ashley Conerway, 24, 101 Rambling Road, Jonesborough. Her body was found around 6 a.m. May 12 lying in the yard of her residence.
Graybeal confirmed she died of a gunshot wound, but said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has not determined the manner of death.
But after a brief court appearance Wednesday for the woman’s husband, Kelvin Barnard Conerway Jr., his attorney said the woman shot herself.
“She took her own life,” attorney Bob Green said. “She had a history of problems of that nature and just a few days before had been in (an) inpatient clinic.”
Green said at a previous hearing for his client that a weapon was found near Ashley Conerway’s body.
Kelvin Conerway Jr., 25, of that same Rambling Road address, was charged with manufacturing schedule I drugs, possession of schedule VI drugs for resale, possession of a firearm while committing a dangerous felony and maintaining a dwelling where drugs are sold.
Green waived the case to a Washington County grand jury without a preliminary hearing.
When deputies arrived at Conerway’s residence to investigate his wife being found dead, Conerway invited officers into the mobile home. Officers found a locked room that he would not open, Graybeal said.
The sheriff’s office called the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to assist and obtain a search warrant for the residence. Officers later found mushrooms growing inside the room.
Graybeal said officers recovered 700 mushrooms, two firearms, a quarter pound of marijuana and a quarter pound of dried mushrooms from inside the trailer. (See related article.)
Graybeal said the mushroom lab was being cultivated each day and was similar to a marijuana growing lab in that the mushrooms could be grown year-round.
Conerway is free on $20,000 bond. He has a hearing in Criminal Court on July 22.