Three arrested in McMinn County murder | UPDATE

ATHENS, Tenn. (SUBMITTED) -- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested three people accused of a burglary and homicide in Athens on the 4th of July.

At the request of 10th District Attorney General Steve Crump, TBI Special Agents began investigating the death of Michael W.T. Womack on July 15th. On July 4th, McMinn County deputies found the body of the 20-year-old at the Athens home of Womack’s acquaintance, which had also been burglarized.

During the course of the investigation, Agents and Sheriff’s Department detectives developed information which implicated Thomas P. Odum, 48, Martha A. Thompson, 42, and Amanda L. Britnell, 34. All three admitted to their participation in the crime. At this time, the circumstances of the crime and its motivation remain under investigation.

Thursday morning, TBI Agents, along with McMinn County deputies, arrested all three people without incident at the home shared by Thompson and Britnell. All three are being held at the McMinn County Jail.

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McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy said it happened at a home on County Road 172 around noon on Independence Day.

Sheriff Guy said 20-year-old Tyler Womack lived across the road with his grandmother. Guy said Womack told his grandmother he was going to the home where it happened to fix a tire. A short while later, Guy said she heard noises and went to check on Womack. He said she found him dead in the yard from a gun shot wound.

"We've got some persons of interest and we're currently investigating the leads that we developed that day, I can't say a whole lot about it because it's an active investigation, but it's just very tragic - 20 years old," said Sheriff Guy.

Guy said he can't release a motive yet, but is hopeful deputies will learn more about what happened after interviewing the persons of interest.

Anyone with information should call the McMinn County Sheriff's Office at (423) 745-5620.


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