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Sequatchie man charged in fatal shooting from Jan. 2018 originally ruled self-defense

Following-up on a story we brought you first in January… A Marion County man has now been charged in connection to the January shooting death of a man in what was originally called a self-defense shooting.

Johnny Watts (Photo: Contributed from Marion Co. Sheriff’s Dept.)

61-year-old Johnny Watts of Sequatchie was arrested last week, according to Marion County Circuit Court records. This comes following the ongoing investigation into Watts’ involvement in the incident that happened at his property on Dancing Fern Road on New Year’s Day 2018, when it was orignally alleged that he shot and killed 25-year-old Brandon Shrum out of self-defense.

Marion County Sheriff Ronnie “Bo” Burnett said in January that there had been “bad blood” between the two men prior the the incident. Neighbors of the two men also confirmed their past run-ins. Those neighbors also say they had experienced issues with Watts themselves in the past, saying Watts was “notorious for trespassing on other people’s property, making verbal or suggestive threats to them and others, and hiding in bushes and stalking the young children of neighbors.”

Watts was arrested early Tuesday morning by deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and booked for an original grand jury indictment charging him with reckless homicide. He was released Wednesday on a $15,000 bond and now faces an arraignment in Circuit Court on Monday, April 16, 2018. According to officials no further information regarding whether or not Watts has sought legal cousel was available.

According to Sheriff Burnett, his department and the TBI say the shooting initailly appeared to be out of self defense, however evidence gathered in the case was later presented to a grand jury, which didn’t agree with the self defense determination.

No comment was available from Twelfth Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor, but in a statement from his office they said the case would be handled just like any other case.

If convicted of a reckless homicide charge (a class D felony carrying a possible sentence of anywhere from 2 – 12 years in Tennessee) depending on their prior criminal history.

Stay with MarionCountyMessenger.com for continuing coverage on this story…



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