Police identify both victims found dead in burned house, three arrested

By: Sara Shookman Email
By: Sara Shookman Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knoxville police have identified both victims found dead after firefighters responded to a house fire in north Knoxville on Tuesday. Three people have been arrested in connection with their deaths, two of them charged with their murders, according to the Knoxville Police Dept.

Police say both Eric Marsh and Dena Baisden died after being beaten with hammers.

Firefighters discovered their bodies after responding to a fire at a home on Tower Ave. Tuesday night. Marsh's body was discovered near a door, while Baisden's body was by the back bedroom.

Ashley Tanner, 20, and Benjamin Foust, 30, were arrested during a traffic stop on Broadway just after midnight Thursday morning. Tanner was charged with two counts each of Felony Murder and Especially Aggravated Robbery, while Foust faces an Unlawful Possession of a Weapon charge after police said they found an 870 Remington shotgun inside the vehicle.

Teddie Jones, 25, had already been taken into custody in connection with the killings. Like Tanner, he faces two counts of Felony Murder and two counts of Especially Aggravated Robbery. His bond was set at one million dollars. Police added Jones was related to Marsh.

"Everybody's kinda shocked right now. And we all kinda want answers. We want to know what happened," said Michael Puckett, who lives nearby.

Puckett says he knows his close friends died inside -- what he doesn't know is how. "Him just being killed is enough, but to find out that he was murdered, I don't even know what to think about that. He was a really good friend."

Puckett's son, Bryce, first saw the flames. "I put my hands to my mouth, said, 'Oh my God!' ran inside and said there was a fire, and then my dad ran to the door," said Bryce.

While fire burned through the house, investigators say this is a crime scene. Fire officials and Knoxville police spent the day picking up the pieces.

"We're looking at all options, every piece of evidence that we may be able to locate to help us solve this issue, this crime," said Darrell Debusk with the Knoxville Police Dept.

The facts are two victims murdered by a relative. The rest, leaves the neighborhood unsettled.

"Right now everybody's kinda worried and a little scared right now as to what happened there. You know? Is this something that could happen again here?" said Puckett.

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