published Sunday, June 24th, 2012

McMinn slaying came after weeks of dispute, sheriff says

Investigators believe that the Sunday slaying of a Riceville, Tenn., man was the result of a shootout between the victim and a “person of interest,” according to McMinn Sheriff Joe Guy.

Jason Watson, 39, lives in a trailer behind the residence at 165 County Road 258 where Jason Howard, 36, was fatally shot. Guy said in a news release that the two men had been in a dispute for weeks before the shooting.

Howard and Jennifer White, 35, drove to Watson’s residence on Sunday, “and when they arrived several shots were fired, apparently by both men,” Guy said.

Dispatchers were alerted to the shooting around 12:30 p.m. and told that White was driving Howard to Athens Regional Medical Center. He had been wounded several times by a small-caliber handgun and was dead on arrival, Guy said.

Investigators also found a rifle in the car driven by White and Howard, the sheriff said.

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