Man charged in shooting death of girlfriend

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Loudon County (WVLT) Loudon County authorities believe domestic violence played a role in the shooting death of a woman over the weekend, allegedly by her boyfriend.

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb has been following this and has more.

In many cases, there have been previous calls to the home in domestic cases but Sheriff Tim Guider says that's not the case here.

But officials with a county domestic violence organization says not telling authorities about domestic violence is also common.

25 year old John Kenneth Harvey is charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of 22 year old Savannah Cass McMahon on Saturday.

Sheriff Tim Guider says the two had been in a fight at their Town Creek Road home.

"Went to retrieve a small caliber handgun, a .22 revolver. They were in an argument."

Autopsy results show she was shot in the abdomen.

"Almost immediately hit an artery and a blood vessel which caused her to basically hemorrhage."

Authorities believe domestic violence played a role but there was no police record of previous incidents.

Guider says, "the victim had occasionally talked her folks, her parents."

Nancy Grimes with Loudon county's Iva's House says many times domestic violence victims turn to family but it's a catch 22.

"That's very common because domestic violence is a private crime. She needs them but she's broken ties with them in order to isolate herself to this partner who is abusive."

Grimes says victims should call law enforcement when domestic situations arise, even when they don't plan to press charges so a paper trail can be established.

Grimes also feels victims do have options.

"I always recommend that you get your purse and your personal items and get out of there so you will live because there is always the threat of death."

Sheriff Guider says they plan to file additional charges against Harvey after they discovered drugs at the home.

Meanwhile, Grimes urges women in domestic situations to call them at Iva's Place by dialing 988-STOP or 988-7867.

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