Bradley County murder suspect David Keith Daugherty makes first court appearance

Bradley County murder suspect David Keith Daugherty makes first court appearance

July 19th, 2011 by Randall Higgins in News

David K. Daughtery

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- The Bradley County man accused of strangling his wife to death will remain in jail with no bond while an attorney is appointed for him.

David Keith Daugherty, 41, made his initial court appearance Monday on a first-degree murder charge for the death of his 40-year-old wife, Elizabeth.

A preliminary hearing date is scheduled for Thursday.

Daugherty, shackled and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, appeared briefly before General Sessions Court Judge Sheridan Randolph for an arraignment hearing. Daugherty answered "No, sir" when Randolph asked if he could afford an attorney.

Daugherty then sat on the front bench in the courtroom and filled out the paperwork to be referred to the public defender's office.

The district attorney's office recommended Daugherty be held without bond because he is a flight risk. His previous convictions include voluntary manslaughter for killing a man in 1990 and robbery.

Daugherty was arrested in Swain County, N.C., after he allegedly attacked a woman at a hotel there. Prosecutors said he may face charges there as well.

According to a police affidavit, Bradley County sheriff's deputies were called to the Daugherty's Sixth Street home on July 12 after family members found Elizabeth Annette Carney's body in a closet of the couple's trailer.

A friend in the trailer was on the phone with Daugherty when the family was when the body was found wrapped in blankets in a bedroom closet, according to the affidavit. As members of the family started screaming, the affidavit says, Daugherty said, "I guess they found her," the affidavit says.

An autopsy on Carney was performed last week in Knoxville, and the cause of death was ruled to be strangulation, according to sheriff spokesman Bob Gault.

Contact Randall Higgins at rhiggins@timesfreepress.com or 423-314-1029.