published Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Sequatchie couple died in apparent murder-suicide, authorities say

51 Finley Circle
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The neighbors heard gunshots an acre away, and police found a couple dead inside their double-wide trailer when they arrived at the grisly scene in Sequatchie County, Tenn., on Saturday afternoon.

Stephanie Smith, 39, and Scotty Lee Smith, 43, died in what investigators believe was a murder/suicide, said Jody Lockhart, a detective with the Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office.

Police had never been called to the secluded residence at 51 Finley Circle, but neighbors told investigators that the couple -- who were married for 18 years -- had been arguing for the past month. Those interviews, paired with evidence from inside the home, led local law enforcement and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to conclude that Scotty Lee Smith killed his wife and then turned the gun on himself.

"The family kept to themselves," said Lockhart.

Lockhart wouldn't say how many shots had been fired and where the bodies were hit.

The couple left a 6-year-old boy who was not at the trailer during the shootings. The Department of Children's Services placed the boy with his grandparents, officials said.

Both bodies were sent to Nashville for autopsies, and a final report will be issued in 30 to 60 days. District Attorney Mike Taylor, who authorized TBI assistance with the case, said he is waiting for the final report.

"If it is a murder/suicide that will be the end of it," he said.

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