Arrest Made in Hit & Run Death

By: Whitney Daniel
By: Whitney Daniel

Knoxville (WVLT) - It's the first sign of closure for many who knew and loved 20-year-old Morgan McCarty, a UT college co-ed killed early Saturday morning in the Fort Sanders neighborhood. Now a Michigan man is in custody.

Knoxville Police have been working this case non-stop since it happened early Saturday morning. Through interviews with witnesses and the community, police found the suspect's vehicle in Anderson County - that was earlier this week. Now, they've caught up with the suspect.

Less than a week after a fatal hit and run accident, Knoxville Police arrest the man they say could be responsible: 28-year-old, Jason Stanke, of Flint, Michigan. Right now, he's charged with leaving the scene of an accident with fatal injuries, but that could change.

"We could amend the charges to include maybe negligent homicide or vehicular homicide or we could add some charges," Sgt. Tim Snoderly said.

Stanke was allegedly the man driving the 2006 Chevy Blazer that killed Morgan at Seventeenth and Highland.

"I know every time I've driven on the interstate since then, every time I see a white blazer I'm wanted to call the police department," student Stacie Brantley said.

In fact, police say that's how they were able to track Stanke down -- through interviews with witnesses.

"Eye witnesses and what little they had, they actually came through and caught the guy," student Phillip Shephard said.

"They've put numerous hours in this, a lot of long hours and hard work," Snoderly said.

Now, that hard work has paid off, and those who knew Morgan best say the arrest will help them move on.

We spoke with Morgan's Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority Chapter President, Ashley Gilley, and she says "We're hopeful this arrest will lead to some closure for her family and friends, and maybe this arrest will allow them to start the grieving process."

Even those who didn't know Morgan personally say they're hopeful this will help the family recover.

"It's good to know that her family will have a name with the person who took their daughter," Brantley said.

"For her family and everything and for everyone who lives up here in this community and this college, it's a relief," Shephard said.

The arrest will certainly help with the grieving process. Family and friends are in Jackson, Tennessee for Morgan's funeral. Burial is set for Friday.


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