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Smith indicted on murder of wife

The Claiborne Grand Jury has indicted a New Tazewell man for first degree murder of his wife, former Claiborne County Jail nurse Michelle Renee Smith.

Billy Joe Smith, 43, allegedly shot to death his wife of seven years, following an apparent altercation between the couple.

Claiborne Sheriff’s officers responded to the Smith residence on January 1 after receiving reports of an apparent suicide. While at the scene, CCSO officers interviewed witnesses and collected other evidence during their preliminary investigation that suggested the gunshot wound was unlikely to have been self-inflicted, according to a press release issued by CCSO detective Bradley Duncan, shortly after the event.

Smith was held on a $1 million bond.

The grand jury returned several additional true bills during its April session.

Robert Eastman, 34, was indicted on one count each of burglary and theft over $1,000 during events allegedly occurring from Aug. 1 through Aug. 31.

A true bill was returned on Randy Ray Buell, 53, on one count each of driving under the influence (fourth offense), speeding and failure to maintain traffic lane during an event allegedly occurring on Sept. 24, 2017.

The grand jury indicted Rocky Lane, 36, on one count of driving under the influence during an event allegedly occurring on June 2.

Rachel Lynn Johnston, 32, was indicted on one count each of introduction of contraband into a penal facility, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia during an event allegedly occurring on Sept. 10.

A true bill was returned on Elphida Sweet, 61, on one count each of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell, possession of a schedule V controlled substance with the intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia during an event allegedly occurring on July 2.

The grand jury indicted Sherry Smith-Edds, 45, on one count of simple possession of marijuana during an event allegedly occurring on June 14.

Jason Michael Alfred Gunn, 47, was indicted on one count of filing a false report during an event allegedly occurring on Jan. 22.

A true bill was returned on Terry Ellison, 70, on one count of joyriding during an event allegedly occurring on July 19, 2017.

Kelsie Jolly, 20, was indicted on one count of possession of drug paraphernalia during an event allegedly occurring on Aug. 30.

An indictment does not indicate guilt. An indictment does indicate that the grand jury found enough evidence to warrant sending the case over to trial.