published Monday, September 3rd, 2012

TBI seeks help in investigation of Roane slaying

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is seeking public help in the investigation of the Aug. 12 slaying of an 85-year-old Roane County man and his family is offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction, according to state and local authorities.

On Aug. 12, family members found Russel Charles Blevins, 85, of 138 Hart Orchard Road in Kingston, Tenn., shot multiple times in his home, TBI officials state in a news release.

"It's just an odd situation. Almost nothing was disturbed," Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said Friday.

The family had been trying to reach Blevins, but when he didn't answer they went to check on him about 8 p.m. on Aug. 12, according to the sheriff. His body was found on the living room floor.

A preliminary autopsy report indicates Blevins had been dead for 10 to 12 hours when his body was found, he said.

Investigators believe an M-1 .30-caliber carbine rifle was taken from Blevin's home, according to the TBI.

Stockton said several other weapons were in the house were left in place and little else appeared to have been disturbed.

He said the missing rifle is not believed to be the murder weapon, and officials are puzzled as to a motive.

Blevins, who often helped people in need, was known to have frequent visitors and he and his killer probably knew each other, Stockton said. The victim also tried to help injured wild animals such as raccoons and vultures, he said.

Meanwhile, authorities are looking for help and information, he said.

"If someone has purchased an M-1 rifle since the 12th of August, we'd be very interested in seeing it," Stockton said.

Anyone with information about the crime is urged to call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND (1-800-824-3463) or the Roane County Sheriff's Office at 865-376-5582.

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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