Zachary Nave, 21,
Died In Drug Deal
Shootout At Home
On The 107 Cutoff
BY KEN LITTLE
Three men who pleaded guilty last week to second-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting during a marijuana deal gone bad are beginning state prison terms ranging from 15 to 17 years.
Travis D. Monroe, 21, Gregory Monroe Anderson, 24, and Kenneth E. Monroe, 24, all entered guilty pleas May 13 in Greene County Criminal Court.
The men had been charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in connection with the Jan. 16, 2009, shooting death of 21-year-old Zachary R. Nave, who died of a gunshot wound to the head in a house at 2415 107 Cutoff.
The trial of the three defendants was to begin Monday.
The victim's family signed off on the recommendation by Third Judicial District Attorney General Berkeley Bell to amend the charges to lesser pleas of second-degree murder, court records show.
Travis Monroe, whose last address was in Knoxville, fired the fatal shot, court documents state. He was sentenced by Criminal Court Judge John Dugger Jr. to a prison term of 17 years.
Anderson, who traded gunshots with another occupant at the address after Nave was shot, received a sentence of 16 years from Dugger. Anderson is a former resident of Freshour Park, Chuckey, and a cousin of Travis and Kenneth Monroe.
Kenneth Monroe, who waited in a car while the shooting took place, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He is Travis Monroe's brother and is also a former Freshour Park resident.
All three men were given credit for more than two years served in the Greene County Detention Center as they awaited trial.
They must complete their full prison sentences without possibility of parole, court officials said.
TRIO ARRIVES AT HOUSE
Court documents from the investigation indicate Nave was nervous about selling a half-pound of marijuana to the men. Brendan Royer, Nave's roommate, was present when the trio arrived.
Nave's fears were justified, according to court documents that indicated the defendants planned to rob him.
Travis Monroe and Anderson were armed with handguns. Monroe shot Nave twice with a .380 caliber handgun when he entered the residence, including a fatal wound to the back of the head.
Court documents indicate pandemonium broke loose after the fatal shot was fired.
Royer, who was also armed, returned fire with Travis Monroe, wounding him at least three times. Royer was shot in the foot.
Anderson, who was armed with a 9 mm handgun, fired into the house from the driveway before the three men fled the scene.
Royer later told investigators he had planned to go out to eat before the men arrived but stayed behind because "Nave was afraid something was going to happen to him," court documents state.
Royer, 30, is charged with possession of more than half an ounce of marijuana for resale and tampering with evidence. His case is pending, court officials said.
FOUND DEAD INSIDE DOOR
A report filed by sheriff's Sgt. Terry Rader on the 2009 incident said that when he arrived at 2415 107 Cutoff about 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 16, he found Nave lying dead just inside the basement door.
Also lying on the basement floor with a gunshot wound to his right foot was Royer, according to the report.
When deputies entered the basement, they noticed the smell of burning marijuana. The report said Royer told deputies that he had placed about one pound of marijuana in a wood-burning stove in an attempt to destroy it before officers arrived.
The report said Royer told deputies that he and Nave had been smoking marijuana and had been expecting "people" to come over.
SHOOTOUT IS DESCRIBED
When they heard a knock at a basement door, Nave went to the door, and at least two men entered, and one began firing a gun. One of the shots, according to the report, fatally wounded Nave.
The report quoted Royer as telling deputies that he fired back, and believed that his shots struck one of the intruders.
The assailants then retreated from the house, the report said.
A short time later, Travis Monroe was brought to the emergency room at Laughlin Memorial Hospital suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Deputies recovered two handguns from the shooting scene, according to Rader's report.
Royer was wounded in the right foot during the incident. He was flown from the scene to Johnson City Medical Center.