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MURDER: West Knox County residents stunned by multiple shootings

Sheriff Tim Hutchison holds a Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church bulletin that either Rosemary or Lee Roy Moody was holding showing where one of the shots allegedly fired by Harrell produced a bullet hole prior to striking its- Dan Barile/farragutpress
Christopher Shane Harrell has been charged in the multiple shooting and bloody-beating of a West Knox County family.

Harrell, 23, is being held in the Knox County Sheriff Department’s maximum security facility on charges of the first-degree murder of Lee Roy Moody, 51, and attempted first-degree murder of his wife Rosemary Moody, 49.

He was also charged with the especially aggravated kidnapping of their daughter Tricia Moody, 21, especially aggravated burglary, theft of a vehicle and evading arrest.

His bonds total $1.67 million.

Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison laid out the charges in his office during a press conference Monday afternoon.

According to the sheriff, Harrell shot Lee Roy and Rosemary Moody in their 319 Wooded Lane home with a stolen .40-caliber Glock pistol upon their return home from church about 12:40 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Lee Roy Moody died at the scene and Rosemary Moody was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

“The autopsy shows that Mr. Moody was shot two times; once through the chest area and once through the neck area,” Hutchison said. “We know Mrs. Moody was shot three times; one time in the neck, one time in the shoulder and one through the hand.”

The couple’s daughter, Tricia Moody was not shot, he added.

Hutchison said Harrell, the estranged boyfriend of Tricia Moody, broke into the family’s home before the attack.

Authorities are unsure when Harrell gained entry into the home.

“What he told the daughter yesterday is that he had broken into the house and spent the night. He told us that he broke into the house earlier yesterday (Sunday) morning,” Hutchison said. “We’re not sure exactly when he got into the home and set his trap waiting for everyone to come home from church.”

Authorities found a church bulletin from Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church with a single bullet hole just inside the front door.

Tricia Moody, who reportedly dated Harrell for two or three years, was the first to be attacked shortly after 11 a.m., Hutchison said.

“Apparently he did it immediately,” Hutchison said. “She was up there (in the attic) an hour-and-a-half that we know of.

“She was bound with duct tape, shooting muffs put over her ears … after she was assaulted initially and struck in the head by an object.”

The sheriff said it was “obvious that was his intent” to kill Tricia Moody’s parents.

“He put muffs over her ears,” Hutchinson said. “He probably blamed them for the break-up if I had to guess.”

After shooting Lee Roy and Rosemary Moody, Harrell stole the couple’s newer model gray Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and fled the scene.

Although Rosemary Moody had been shot three times, she was able to reach a telephone, call for help and give police a description of the vehicle Harrell was driving.

Hutchinson said the call came in around 12:39 p.m. and officers spotted the Tacoma travelling eastbound on Kingston Pike around 12:41 p.m.

Harrell then got onto Pellissippi Parkway and headed towards Blount County.

Officers followed the truck up to Topside Road, where Harrell exited.

Cruisers from the Alcoa Police Department and Blount County Sheriff’s Department were on the off-ramp, so Harrell traveled back onto Pellissippi Parkway and headed south.

Three KCSD cruisers then maneuvered the Tacoma into the median, ending a 10-minute pursuit.

According to Hutchison, Harrell has an extensive criminal record in Knox County that includes drug offenses, violation of probation and an outstanding warrant for theft.

Harrell was charged with the theft Sunday night and could receive an additional charge for possession of a stolen gun.

“We have learned that the .40-caliber Glock was stolen,” Hutchison said. “There are no charges on that yet. We are still waiting on statements.”

Hutchison said he was unsure if Harrell and Tricia Moody had a violent history, but she had attempted to file a court order of protection against Harrell on Friday, Nov. 14.

Tricia Moody wanted the court order after she ran into Harrell in the Old City last week, and he allegedly assaulted her, keyed her car and slashed her tires.

The young woman was told to come back Monday morning to get the court order because a judge was not present at the time, Hutchison said.

Even if Tricia Moody would have filed the court order, Hutchison said he is “not sure it would have made a difference.”

“I believe this was premeditated,” he said.

Hutchison said it’s becoming a trend for minor offenders to “move up to more serious crimes.”

“It’s the same thing we’re seeing over and over in this community,” he said. “We would like to see some changes in the judicial system.”

He added that Rosemary and Tricia Moody are doing “as well as can be expected” and have helped officers with the investigation.

“We had a daughter that was as coherent as the mother,” Hutchinson said. “All of those things lead to what we determine.”

Lee Roy Moody was an employee of Goody’s Family Clothing for eight years.

He held various positions with the company since he began work in 1995. Lee Roy Moody’s most recent job was area manager in the distribution center, a position he had held since 2000.

“He had risen up through the ranks and got several promotions,” said Bob Whaley, senior vice president of distribution and transportation. “He was extremely dependable.”

Fellow employees were shocked when they heard the news of his death.

“Everybody was flabbergasted and shocked,” Whaley said.

He characterized Lee Roy Moody as a quiet, family-oriented man.

“Lee was a quiet, gentle giant,” Whaley said. “He was just a genuinely likeable guy.”

According to a press release from Roy Zinn, pastor for church administration at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, church members have been asked by the Moody family to “not make any statements to the media at this time.”

“We do ask that everyone hold up the Moody’s in prayer during the aftermath of this tragedy and the heartbreaking loss of their husband and father,” Zinn stated in the release.

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