Suspect indicted in shooting death of Maryville police officer

Sept. 15, 2016: The accused shooter of a Maryville police officer appeared in court Thursday. His case now goes to a grand jury on five charges, including first-degree murder.

MARYVILLE - A Blount County grand jury indicted the man accused in the shooting death of Maryville police officer Kenny Moats.

Blount County Circuit Court documents state the grand jury indicted Brian Keith Stalans on Monday.

Stalans, 44, of Maryville was indicted on one count of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon.

Moats, 32, died of a single gunshot wound to the neck after responding to a domestic violence situation at Stalans’ home on Aug. 25.

During a preliminary hearing in September, prosecutors laid out their evidence against Stalans, including a handwritten note found in Stalans’ kitchen that said in part, “Goodbye cruel world … I will now find out what’s on the other side.”

Blount County Sheriff’s Deputy David Mendez, who was Moats’ partner on the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force, testified officers took cover behind their car when they arrived at Stalans’ house on Aug. 25. Moats was pronounced dead later the same day at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Related: Maryville Police Chief writes thank you message for community support

More: Man accused of shooting Maryville officer appointed public defender

Read: Man charged in Maryville officer's death

Mack Garner is the public defender appointed to represent Stalans. Garner has been the elected public defender in Blount County since 1990.

A judge will set another court hearing where Stalans will enter a formal plea of guilty or not guilty. That’s also when the defense and prosecution will be able to enter motions, such as a motion for a change of venue for the trial.

In August, Garner said he expected a trial wouldn’t begin before spring or summer of 2017, at the earliest.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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