Victim's mother reacts to charges eight months after killing

1:43 AM, Jun 20, 2012   |    comments
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The mother of a woman found murdered along a Roane Co. road last October says she's happy a suspect is now in custody in her daughter's killing.

A Grand Jury indicted insurance agent Shawn Smoot on first degree murder charges in the death of Brooke Morris, 23. He was wanted Tuesday night, and authorities had made arrangements to take him into custody.

"We're proud that our DA's office and the Grand Jury acted the way they did today, looking at all the evidence that pointed to Mr. Smoot."

"Brooke was one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet," Morris' mother, Tina Gregg, said. "[She was] always happy and fun to be around."

A passerby found Morris' body with multiple gunshot wounds in October at the intersection of Blair and Old Blair roads.

She leaves behind a three-year-old son. "He doesn't realize that you can't go to heaven to see mom and come back," said Gregg.

For months, Morris' family has believed Smoot committed the crime.

"He's had plenty of time to do what he wanted to do. Brooke didn't have that option," Gregg said.

Morris had worked for Smoot at his insurance office. Before her death, a Knox County court granted a "no contact order" against Smoot. She claimed he previously threatened to kill her.

"It's been unimaginable for all of us; it's been awful," Gregg said. 

She is eager to see the case move forward. "I'm ready to go. I'm ready to fight."

According to Stockton, Smoot was en route to Tennessee to turn himself in. In the meantime, Morris' family plans to celebrate her life Friday at Lynwood Cemetery in north Knoxville, where she is buried.

The ceremony will take place at 7:00 p.m. and is open to the public.

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