published Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Three charged with murder in Sparta, Tenn., slaying

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has obtained indictments for three White County men in connection to a homicide earlier this year in Sparta, Tenn.

At the request of 13th District Attorney General Randy York, TBI special agents began investigating the death of John Howard Shoemaker on April 10, 2014, the same day deputies from the White County Sheriff’s Office discovered the body of the 36-year-old in a wooded area behind a bar called "My Place" in Sparta. An autopsy determined Shoemaker died as a result of multiple blunt force trauma.

During the course of the investigation, agents and sheriff’s office detectives developed information connecting Joe Daniel Honaker Jr., Jared Dewayne Holmes and Bart Kirby to the crime.

On Wednesday, a specially-called White County grand jury returned indictments for all three Sparta men, charging each with one count of second-degree murder and one count of especially aggravated assault.Authorities arrested Holmes, 27, at his place of employment and Kirby, 33, at his home. Honaker, 31, was already being held in the White County Jail on an unrelated Violation of Probation charge. At the time of this release, all three men were being held in the White County Jail on $500,000 bond each.

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