Scene at 113 Smith Lane (Lee Talbert/Press Photo Editor)
Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal said Friday that marital problems are believed to be the cause of an alleged murder-suicide in Jonesborough.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to 113 Smith Lane, a home in the Leesburg area in the town’s west end, for a welfare check called in by a neighbor.
According to Graybeal, when deputies arrived they noticed a strong odor and insects, giving them reason to enter the residence, where they located two bodies — a man and a woman — near the back door.
Police noticed all doors were secure and believed the double shooting to have taken place Wednesday.
The sheriff’s department found bullet holes exiting the residence, with one bullet hitting the neighboring house at 115 Smith Lane, which is owned by WCSO Deputy Dewayne Sparks.
Sparks, who knew the deceased, said he had recently mowed their yard, saying, “they were super-good neighbors.”
He said he had never heard any arguments between the couple and said he had been working at the courthouse when he heard the call.
“If I had been there, I might have heard it,” Sparks said, pointing out that the bullet that struck his house was near his bedroom.
Graybeal called it “a very sad situation,” and said they weren’t looking into prosecuting anyone at the time.
He said it is believed the man killed the woman, then committed suicide.
Graybeal said .40-caliber bullets were also taken from the scene.
The bodies were transported to the James H. Quillen College of Medicine for an autopsy.
The deceased’s names were being withheld until next of kin had been notified. The investigation is ongoing.