Man Shot In Head,
Woman In Face,
Dist. Attorney Says
BY KEN LITTLE
Robbery is a possible motive in the shooting deaths of 21-year-old Terrence Logan Stewart and 20-year-old Cortney Amber Thompson, Third Judicial District Attorney General C. Berkeley Bell said today.
The bodies of the couple, who had just moved to a Newport apartment last week from Thompson's parents' home in Dandridge, were found about 7 a.m. Sunday under the Newport Highway (U.S. Rt. 321) bridge spanning the Nolichucky River.
The investigation is centered in Cocke County, where authorities believe the couple may have been killed before their bodies were discarded along a dirt road near the river.
"From the position of the bodies it looked like they had been deposited where they were found rather than being shot there," Bell said.
"We believe that the shooting took place in Cocke County, and we are investigating in Cocke County. That's why we are investigating there at this point," Bell said.
Thompson had an active arrest warrant in Cocke County for a drug-related offense, according to Bell.
"It's possible there was a robbery," he said. "She was allegedly seen with a large sum of money [on Saturday]."
The couple was last seen alive about 9 or 10 p.m. Saturday, Greene County Sheriff Steve Burns said early on in the investigation.
A man who drove down the gravel access road to the river about daybreak Sunday found the bodies of Thompson and Stewart, who had been dating since high school.
SHOTS IN HEAD AND FACE
"My understanding is, the man was shot in the back of the head, and the woman was shot twice in the face," Bell said.
Bell, who is prosecuting criminal cases this month in Hamblen County, said he has been conferring regularly about the case with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The TBI is investigating the murders, along with the Cocke County Sheriff's Department, the Greene County Sheriff's Department and the Fourth Judicial District Attorney General's Office.
Bell is chief prosecutor in Greene County but not in Cocke County, which is in the Fourth Judicial District.
Thompson's BMW was found parked Monday morning at the Blue Ridge Apartments in Newport.
Stewart's blue 2000 Honda Accord had not been located as of this morning.
Thompson and Stewart had lived with Thompson's parents for the last five months.
They moved last week to the Uptown Rentals apartments, at 401 West Broadway, in Newport.
"Most of the investigation has shifted to Cocke County. That's what we have been doing the last few days," Burns said today.
Stewart is the son of former Capt. Terry Stewart, a long-time officer with the Newport Police Department who retired in 2008, according to a departmental spokesperson.
Johnny Thompson, father of Cortney, said Monday that the last time he saw his daughter and Stewart was Friday, when they picked up some possessions to take to their apartment.
Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes said anyone with information or tips about the case can leave them anonymously on the Sheriff's Department website, at http://www.cockecountysd.com
The Greene County Sheriff's Department can be reached at (423) 798-1800; the Cocke County Sheriff's Department number is (423) 623-3064; and the TBI number is 1-800-TBI-FIND.