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Update: Kingsport police say victim knew her 'brutal' killer

Rain Smith, NET News Service • Feb 26, 2014 at 2:19 PM

KINGSPORT — More than 100 police interviews in four states have led to an arrest in the 2011 murder of a Kingsport woman, with police saying the suspect and victim were acquaintances.

Jonathan Lynn Slemp, 42, address provided as 241 Chesterfield Drive, Kingsport, was arrested Tuesday afternoon during a scheduled visit with his probation officer at the Kingsport Justice Center. Earlier in the day a Sullivan County grand jury returned indictments against Slemp, charging him with first-degree murder, felony murder and especially aggravated robbery.

Slemp is accused in the bludgeoning death of Betty Sue Short, who was 65 at the time of the murder. Her body was reportedly discovered by a family member on the Sunday morning of Oct. 16, 2011, inside her Barnett Drive apartment.

Keep reading with our partners at the Kingsport Times-News.

Earlier update posted at 11:45 a.m.:

KINGSPORT — Police have identified the suspect in Betty Sue Short's murder as Jonathan Lynn Slemp, 42.

He's held on $300,000 bond, charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and especially aggravated robbery.

Kingsport police held a press conference on the arrest Wednesday morning.

Get more of this developing story from our partners at the Kingsport Times-News.

Earlier report posted at 8:21 a.m.:

KINGSPORT — An arrest has made in the 2011 bludgeoning death of a Kingsport woman inside her home, soliciting long-awaited yet brief sighs of relief from the victim’s family.

“We’re just overwhelmed with joy, but I know we’re nowhere near the end of it,” said Robin Caldwell, the daughter of Betty Sue Short. “But we feel like we may get some answers on how someone could do this to a mother and grandmother, who no one has had one bad word to say about.”

The suspect, who has not yet been identified publicly by police, was apprehended Tuesday evening following indictments by a Sullivan County grand jury.

Details on the individual and the charges placed are expected to be released at a news conference scheduled for 10 a.m. today at the Kingsport Justice Center.

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