published Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

2 indicted in separate Grundy County slayings

Grundy County grand jurors have indicted two Palmer, Tenn., men in connection with unrelated slayings in Gruetli-Laager, Tenn., according to officials.

In one case, Troy E. Dent, 44, of 1274 Tatesville Road, was charged with second-degree murder in a fatal attack on another man with a ball peen hammer.

Doug Birdwell, 63, was lying on the ground off Colony Road when deputies found him late in the afternoon on Oct. 5, according to Grundy County Sheriff Brent Myers.

Birdwell was flown to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga, where he died from severe brain injury, Myers said.

Dent turned himself in Nov. 14.

In the other case, Kurt Brewer, 31, of 257 Barker's Cove Loop, was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder on July 29 and indicted this month on that charge, 12th Judicial District Attorney Mike Taylor said this week.

Brewer is charged in the shooting of Corey Henry, 29, at a home on Sweetan Road.

Brewer and Henry reportedly were arguing all day over a $25 debt, and Brewer had called Henry and threatened him several times before the shooting at the home of an acquaintance where Henry and several others were gathered, according to Myers and Taylor.

Officials said Henry was shot multiple times in the leg and back. He died later at Erlanger hospital.

Brewer and Dent are free on bond, according to Grundy County Jail officials. Both men are due in court on Nov. 30, Circuit Court officials said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Subscribe to his Facebook posts at and follow him on Twitter at

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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