Mother, Experts Testify in Sevier Murder Trial


Sevierville, Sevier County (WVLT) - He says his friend did it. That's expected to be part of 51-year-old John Wayne Blair's defense.

The convicted sex offender is charged with killing 22-year-old Kelli Sellers in April, two years ago.

Stephen McLamb joins us with more on the beginning of John Wayne Blair's murder trial in Sevier County.

When Sellers went missing, investigators said they only wanted to talk to Blair to see if he could provide information on her whereabouts.

But in trial testimony Wednesday, prosecutors said Blair attempted to burn up blood evidence in his home and the botched attempt only pointed investigators in the right direction.

Captain Jeff McCarter testified he discovered what he believed to be blood stains under the burned rug inside Blair's home, on a plastic can, and hair found in the bed of Blair's pickup truck.

Seller's own mother testified, recounting the day she found her daughter wrapped in a tarp partially buried on English Mountain.

"Russell said if I promise not to dig her up he would let me go down there because it was real important. And so I did and I sat on top of the log above her," says Tammy Peterson, Kelli Seller's mother.

In opening statements defense attorney Ed Miller told jurors they believed Blair's friend Tommy Humphrey cast the blame on Blair to save his own skin.

Miller also said prosecution witnesses would be telling different stories and the crime scene was compromised when a former deputy stole items from Blair's home during the investigation.

The trial is expected to last several days.


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