Detectives look into murder victim's abusive relationship

By: Kate Burgess Email
By: Kate Burgess Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--Cops in Roane county say they're close to arresting a murderer. As the Sheriff's Department narrows down its list of suspects we've done more digging into Brooke Morris' past.

Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said, "I don't know that Brooke knew she was going to be murdered. I think if she thought somebody was going to murder her, she probably wouldn't have been where she was, or by choice, she wouldn't have been where she was."

She may not have known, but Morris claimed to be afraid for her life in February. That's when she took out a restraining order on her ex- boyfriend, Shawn Smoot.

In it, Morris details their abusive extramarital relationship.

In one disturbing passage she said, "Shawn threw me down on the bed and held me down. Shawn strangled me with his hands around my neck until I became lightheaded and could not breathe."

Later she said, "Shawn is out of control and violent. He is stalking me and physically abused me. I am afraid of Shawn. He has threatened to kill me."

We tried to reach Smoot at his insurance agency in Farragut, but one of his employees told us, he wasn't available and wouldn't comment on the case.

Roane County wouldn't tell me if Smoot is the prime suspect.

"Anytime we have information leading us in a direction like that, where somebody may have been violent, or has a violent past we'll look into that person," Phillips said.

And even though he hasn't named any suspects so far Phillips said they're getting close.

"With the information we've gathered, I think we can say, 'yes' for certain. We can be confident about an arrest."

Autopsy results for Morris haven't come in yet.


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  • by Maryanne Location: Knoxville on Dec 15, 2011 at 07:21 PM
    I'd say the reason he hasn't been arrested, is because he didn't do it. If you're an ex-cop, Ken, you should know that.
  • by Ken Location: Farragut on Nov 6, 2011 at 04:34 PM
    as a veteran ex-cop if everything I've read about this investigation is true including Smoot's violent past, I find it alarming that this guy is still out here in the general public. I've now had several female friends of mine saying he's showing up at networking group meetings...bars...and still hitting on women. Ladies beware...if this guy is guilty and he knows he's going to go to prison don't think for a minute that it couldn't happen to you. This piece of garbage needs to be arrested and in jail until his trial so that another young lady doesn't end up dead or in the hospital.
  • by Becky Location: Georgia on Nov 5, 2011 at 09:23 PM
    I went to college with Shawn and he dated a close friend of mine. I cannot tell you how many times I told her that if she didnt break up with him, he would kill her. I pulled him off of her many times over the course of the years. Very violent person and apparently never changed
  • by Steve Location: Farragut on Oct 20, 2011 at 12:47 PM
    This is a sad waste. However, Smoot's Allstate agency is not in Farragut. It's in Knox County. Take a geography lesson some time.
  • by abby Location: grainger on Oct 20, 2011 at 11:20 AM
    he did it,, This is very sad.

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