On October 22, 2009 the Johnson County Sheriffs Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation responded to 1043 Harbin Hill Road in reference to a death investigation. Upon arrival, investigators discovered the body of Freddie Burns Hays lying on a couch in his residence with multiple gun shot wounds to the chest.
Investigations by the Johnson County Sheriffs Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation led to the recent arrest of Amanda Christin Stout, 30, of 1720 Highway 321 North, Mountain City.
Stout was charged with criminal homicide – first degree murder and is scheduled to appear in court on September 29, 2010. Her bond is set at $500,000.
Sheriff Mike Reece said drugs and money were the motives in the shooting. He said Stout had long been a suspect in the murder, but his investigators waited until the results came back from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation crime lab before making the arrest.
They say they expedite murder cases, but, with the governors cutbacks and all, they are really backed up, Reece said of the wait.
There were also several other areas that were investigated during the interval. Reece said Hays was formerly from Hickory and Lenoir, N.C. Johnson County investigators and agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation went to those North Carolina towns as part of the investigation.
Reece said the results of the lab work was received Monday and we bought her in for an interview. Reece said it was the first time she had been questioned by investigators, although her husband had been interrogated earlier. Following the interview, Reece said the district attorney approved the first-degree murder charge.
One of the questions resolved by the forensics lab was the gun used in the shooting. Reece said Hays had been shot six times in the chest. The lab results showed that all six shots came from his own gun. The weapon was found at the scene. Reece said investigators had been also looking at another gun, but the results ruled that weapon out.
Reece said he believed Stout had never been charged with a crime before her arrest for murder. He said the investigation was continuing and there could be other charges placed and other arrests.
From Staff Reports and contributions from John Thompson Elizabethton Bureau Chief, Johnson City Press