School security officer could face 1st degree murder charges

(WBIR - Luttrell) At a preliminary hearing Friday morning, a judge determined there was enough evidence for a grand jury to consider first degree murder charges against a Knox County School security officer accused of shooting his neighbor.

Kevin Lee Waggoner, 42, of Luttrell, was charged with one count of criminal homicide after his neighbor, Michael Woodby, was shot and killed during a dispute between the two men and Waggoner's son earlier this month. Investigators said there had been a long history of disagreements between the two men.

The prosecution argued in court that Waggoner's actions before the shooting were evidence that he planned to kill Woodby.

Just days before the shooting, Waggoner sent 10News and several other media outlets copies of documents and videos, claiming he was the victim of harassment in an ongoing feud between the neighbors.

Prosecutors say where the shooting took place also raised suspicions.

"This shooting was nothing short of an ambush, your honor. It occurred on the only place on that roadway where there was no visibility for anybody to see what happened besides Kevin Waggoner and [his son]," said Tracy Jenkins, Union County Assistant District Attorney.

The defense, however, argued that Waggoner shot Woodby in self-defense. They say he shot Woodby to protect his son.

"The deceased in the case struck the first blow. He had in his hand, admittedly, some portion of a fence post and struck this man's son. Your honor, I contend that the only thing he did was protect his son and protect himself," said defense attorney Tommy K. Hindman.

The defense says the feud started when Waggoner refused to sell Woodby a gun, because he was a convicted felon.

The grand jury is set to hear the case in October, but the defense expects it could be delayed because they are still waiting on forensic evidence that may not be back in time.

Waggoner's bail remains at $250,000 dollars. During his original arraignment, a judge ruled Waggoner cannot return home during his trial. Waggoner also is prohibited from contacting any family member of Michael Woodby, cannot have a firearm in his possession, and he cannot be with a person who has a firearm. Those provisions were upheld in court Friday morning.

Knox County Schools has placed Waggoner on unpaid administrative leave.


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