The defendants in a patricide murder case in Meigs County pleaded guilty and will spend the next 40 years in prison.
According to information provided by Russell Johnson, district attorney general for the 9th Judicial District, Jennifer Lee Womac, 38, conspired with James Louis “Louie” Landers, 46, to kill her father Grady Nichols Jr.
The murder occurred at Nichols’ home while Womac reportedly went shopping with her stepmother and Landers posed as a lost hunter asking for directions.
Former Meigs County Sheriff Walter Hickman and TBI investigators began their investigation Sept. 19, 2009.
Nichols died from a blast from a .410-gauge shotgun. His body was found on the porch of his home when Womac and her stepmother returned home.
According to investigators, it was determined Landers was a suspect. They found blood on the shotgun which was tied to Nichols.
Landers eventually confessed “to his actions and implicated Womac.”
Landers then began cooperating with authorities and a meeting was set up between the conspirators.
According to the report, Hickman hid in a closet as a “wired” Landers talked with Womac at his apartment regarding the killing.
Recorded information revealed a substantial inheritance from the Nichols estate and payment for killing him could be slowly coming.
“And the money thing, I may have to filter it to you really slowly, but I promise you that you’ll get every penny,” Womac said during a meeting with Landers.
Investigators gave their information to the District Attorney General’s Office and a Meigs County Grand Jury indicted the two for capital murder.
“Both pled down one level to second-degree murder, but they pled out of range, meaning they have much longer than normal sentences. They actually have 40 years to serve in prison,” said Johnson.
- A Charleston man was arrested on alleged traffic and narcotics violations after he was reportedly observed speeding on Stuart Road.
According to an affidavit filed by deputy Paul Allen of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, Michael Shawn Owens of an Old Lower River Road address was observed by Lt. Wayne White of BCSO as White was performing mobile radar.
The vehicle’s speed was reportedly 67 mph in a posted 50 mph zone.
White stopped the driver of the Dodge truck and identified him as Owens.
According to the report, White noticed Owens had an odor of alcohol coming from his person, his eyes were red and glassy, and his speech slow and slurred.
After asking Owens to perform a field sobriety test, Owens was searched and he “became extremely nervous,” according to the report.
Allen said he felt a bulge in one of Owens’ jacket pockets and found a case containing 18 blue suspected hydrocodone pills and one green hydrocodone pill. The pills had been wrapped in plastic and placed in the case.
According to the report, a driver’s license check revealed Owens’ South Carolina license was revoked and he was also unlicensed in Alabama and Georgia. Owens was given field sobriety tests and reportedly performed poorly.
Owens was then arrested and charged with DUI, speeding, driving while suspended, violation of the implied consent law, and simple possession/casual exchange.
- Tennessee Highway Patrol will be conducting Driver’s License Roadside Safety Checkpoints in Bradley County beginning this weekend.
The checkpoints will be set up in random location in the county.
According to THP officials, checkpoints are an effective means of recognizing the dangers presented to the driving public, by motorists who would violate the driver’s license laws of the state.
All scheduled checkpoints are contingent upon weather conditions and manpower availability.