Accused murderer Shawn Smoot free on bail


KINGSTON, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Shawn Smoot, the man facing charges in the murder of 23 year-old Brooke Morris, is free on bond. Investigators say Smoot killed Morris and dumped her body along a Roane County road in 2011. Brooke's mom is angry that the person she feels murdered her daughter isn't locked up.

That Smoot is free is 17 months since Brooke died is part of her frustration. She's also upset there's no trial date yet. Brooke's mom is getting more angry with the judicial system in Roane County.

Our cameras were there when deputies brought Shawn Smoot back to Roane County last summer after a manhunt that spanned several states. Hours ago, he walked out again. Brooke Morris's Mom Tina Gregg says, "It makes me mad. It absolutely makes me mad. It's a joke. It's a joke."

Shawn Smoot is the sole suspect in the 2011 shooting death of Tina's daughter Brooke Morris. Smoot's been behind bars for nine months, but a judge set his bond at a quarter of a million dollars.
Smoot's parents posted the cash. Gregg says, "Murder should be cut and dry a million dollar bond. For me the worst thing you can do is take somebody's life."

The last time Smoot was a free man he ran from police. Days later, they found him in a pickup truck packed full with all his belongings in Mississippi. Gregg says, "He's going to run. In my heart, I feel he has nothing to lose and he's going to run. "

It's been a year and a half since Brooke's murder. Tina is growing impatient and wants answers. Gregg says, "Why is he walking around allowed to do whatever he wants to do again. He took my daughter's life. He needs to be in jail before we go to court."

District Attorney Russell Johnson told us Smoot wanted to go back to Mississippi, but Johnson wouldn't agree to that. Smoot must stay in Tennessee and visit regularly with his attorney and probation officer while on bond.

Smoot's next court date is June 17th for a pre-trial hearing.


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