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Widow of Oak Ridge man shot to death in 2014 now charged with the killing

Samantha Hendley was married to T.S. Thrasher at the time of his homicide. WBIR reported on the killing as part of its Appalachian Unsolved series.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — The widow of an Oak Ridge man shot and killed in 2014 in their apartment home is now charged with his murder.

Samantha Hendley, 35, was booked into the Anderson County Jail on Monday morning on a count of first-degree murder. Bond was listed at $1 million, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. 

She's accused of killing 29-year-old T.S. Thrasher on early Dec. 8, 2014, in their Rolling Hills complex unit. She reported hearing a gunshot and finding him shot and killed on their couch, according to family members.

For seven years local law enforcement and the TBI have been investigating the killing. The couple had two children.

TBI agents made Monday's arrest, records show. 

"More than seven years of casework by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Harriman woman in connection to a 2014 homicide," The TBI said in a statement. 

Credit: TBI

Hendley was identified as a person of interest during the course of the investigation, according to the TBI. 

After Thrasher was shot and killed, Hendley remarried, according to Thrasher's father, Steve.

"I've been waiting seven years for this day," Steve Thrasher said. "My son told me months before this happened, he said, you know, dad if anything happens to me, Samantha did it."

Thrasher's death continues to inflict deep pain on his father. His family, he said, is still shattered.

"It's not just my son she took away. She took away a brother, she took away a dad. T.S. has a little girl," he said.

When he got the news of Hendley's arrest, he said, it felt in a way as if his own prison sentence was over.

"I kind of felt like I was the one that was in jail because I was having to live this every minute and every day and the frustration, the anger. Just all these emotions that you feel," Steve Thrasher said.

Through this long journey and his moments with his faith, he said, he's found forgiveness but still wants justice for his son's death.

"They could go for the death penalty and I don't want that at all. I don't want that at all. What I would really like is for her to think about this for the rest of her life," Steve said. 

WBIR reached out to Hendley's mother, Sandra, who said she had no comment following her daughter's arrest.

WBIR featured Thrasher's killing as part of its Appalachian Unsolved series in 2021. Efforts then to reach Hendley for comment were unsuccessful.

Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark told WBIR last summer authorities were close to solving the case. They just needed key information that could link the killer to the crime, he said.

Credit: WBIR
Steve Thrasher

TBI investigators said last year they didn't think Thrasher's homicide was a random act.

Thrasher and his wife had a 5-year-old child together, and his wife had a daughter from a previous relationship, Steve Thrasher told WBIR. T.S., who grew up in Oak Ridge, had been attending Pellissippi State Community College and had gotten a job with Advance Financial.

According to the TBI, while Thrasher had numerous neighbors at the apartment complex where he and his wife lived, none of them recalled hearing or seeing anything unusual before he was shot to death.

Credit: Steve Thrasher
Photos of T.S. Thrasher

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