Suspect in Bradley County woman's slaying to be returned to Tennessee from Kansas

Contributed photo / Guy William O'Connell, 44, of Rhea County, Tennessee.
Contributed photo / Guy William O'Connell, 44, of Rhea County, Tennessee.

A Rhea County, Tennessee, man charged in the August death of a Bradley County woman will be returned to Tennessee next week from a Douglas County, Kansas, jail to face charges of murder and abuse of a corpse.

Guy William O'Connell, 44, is still being held in the Douglas County Jail on a fugitive-from-justice warrant stemming from an indictment issued by the Rhea County grand jury in October, authorities said, but he'll be back in Tennessee sometime after the New Year's holiday weekend.

O'Connell is accused in the death of 34-year-old Amber Renee Monday of Bradley County.

photo Contributed photo / Amber Renee Monday

O'Connell initially waived his extradition, then withdrew his waiver, then in another hearing in Kansas earlier this month decided not to fight extradition to Tennessee to face the charges after all, 12th Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor said.

"They notified us that we could come and get him," Taylor said Monday. An extradition hearing set Dec. 1 had been postponed a couple of weeks when O'Connell informed the Kansas court he no longer planned to fight extradition to Tennessee.

Rhea County Sheriff Mike Neal said Monday that arrangements have been made to transport O'Connell back to Tennessee in the coming days.

Taylor said the case will still be slowed after O'Connell gets back to Tennessee because of Supreme Court orders limiting in-person court appearances. O'Connell has been held in Kansas since Aug. 25, first on a fugitive warrant linked to a vehicle theft in Bradley County in the same investigation of Monday's disappearance. However, the more serious charges shifted the case from the 10th Judicial District in Bradley County to Rhea County in the 12th Judicial District.

O'Connell's arrest in Kansas came several days before a body later identified as that of Monday was found in a shallow grave on Dayton Mountain in Rhea County, investigators said.

The investigation started in Bradley County when Monday left a home on Blue Springs Road on Aug. 14 with O'Connell, according to statements and information on the initial investigation from Bradley County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Taylor Woodruff. They were in a black, four-door 2001 Toyota Tacoma, and the two were last known to be around Cherokee Boulevard and Stringer Street in the North Shore area of Chattanooga, Woodruff said.

Bradley County issued a warrant charging O'Connell in relation to the theft of the pickup truck that was connected with Monday's disappearance after she was reported missing on Aug. 18, authorities said. Bradley's theft investigation and the related fugitive warrant led authorities to O'Connell in Kansas.

O'Connell was staying with relatives in Lawrence, Kansas, when he was taken into custody Aug. 25, authorities said.

After Monday's body was found in Rhea County, a forensic autopsy led to a ruling on the manner of death as homicide. Authorities have said they can't comment on the cause of death while the investigation remains open.

Taylor said "potential evidentiary items" were found at the grave south of Laurel Brook Academy near the western edge of the Cumberland Plateau. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Rhea County deputies and a team from the University of Tennessee Forensics Center recovered Monday's body.

Taylor said the Tennessee Supreme Court's recent strictures on court appearances could slow up court action here.

"We're kind of up in the air with the COVID thing. We can't have any in-person hearings," he said. "He'll have to either get an attorney or we'll have to appoint him one, and we'll have to arraign him."

An online meeting program such as Zoom might be used to take necessary actions and conduct hearings in O'Connell's case, Taylor said.

Contact Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at

Upcoming Events