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Three suspects held on $1M bond in death of Claiborne Co. man

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 11:08 AM EST|Updated: Apr. 7, 2021 at 3:40 PM EDT
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CLAIBORNE CO., Tenn. (WVLT) -Officials with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested three suspects and confirmed foul play is suspected in the death of a Claiborne County man.

In a media briefing Tuesday, March 2, officials say all three suspects are facing a $1 million dollar bond in the death of Aaron Massengill.

A preliminary hearing for the suspects on March 16, revealed Massengill was shot inside a home before he died.

According to TBI, a resident found Aaron Massengill’s body late Monday afternoon along Ferguson Ridge Road in Tazewell.

TBI agents along with Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office along with Tazewell Police Department did not release a cause of death. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death, but officials said foul play is suspected at this point in the investigation.

Massengill was reported missing on February 16th. Groups of family members and concerned neighbors got together and searched for Massengill in wooded areas around the county for several days.

TBI says charges have been filed against Courtney Leann Gilpin of New Tazewell, Patrick Andrew Smith of Keokee Virginia, Jimmy Lee Riff of Catawba North Carolina.

Officials say the three suspects have been charged with First Degree Felony Murder, Aggravated Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery. A grand jury indicted them on all three counts Wednesday.

The Claiborne County jail confirmed all three suspects are in their custody as of April 2.

No information has been released on a motive into the death of Massengill.

The arraignment for all three suspects is scheduled for May 3 at 8:30 a.m.

Claiborne Co. Investigation

LIVE: Officials provide an update on three suspects who are facing murder charges in death of Claiborne County man.

Posted by WVLT on Tuesday, March 2, 2021

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