BY KEN LITTLE
Greene County Criminal Court arraignments scheduled Monday for three defendants charged in connection with the March homicides of Cortney Thompson and Terrence Stewart were continued to Sept. 7, court officials said.
Charged with first-degree murder are James Douglas Black, 49; Christopher Allen Jones, 30; and Tabitha N. Whitlock, 32.
Each is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Thompson, 20, and Stewart, 21, died late on the night of March 10 or early March 11.
Their bodies were left on a dirt road under the Nolichucky River bridge and found the morning of March 11.
Statements by the accused, supported by prosecutors, indicate that the victims were shot as they rode in Thompson's car on the Newport Highway just inside the Greene County line, near Cocke County.
A Greene County grand jury handed up more than 30 indictments last week, but the cases of Black, Jones and Whitlock were not among them.
Drugs and money are the apparent motivating factors for a robbery that resulted in the deaths of Thompson and Stewart, authorities said.
The victims were former Newport residents who moved back to Cocke County just before their deaths. They knew the defendants, according to statements given to investigators.
Whitlock, Black and Jones are Cocke County residents.
The suspected location of the shootings determined the prosecution of the defendants in Greene County.
Black, Jones and Whitlock remain in custody in the Greene County Detention Center.