slaying of wheelchair-bound man 'crime of
By Matt Lakin knoxnews.com
Matt Lakin knoxnews.com
TELLICO VILLAGE - Ron Kronholm's neighbors
never knew he had an enemy - not until his wife
came home to their million-dollar house on the
lake and discovered his body.
"You could not have asked for a better
neighbor," said Cheryl Cowen, who lives next
door. "It's a real mystery."
The search continued Friday for whoever shot
Kronholm, 79, in his wheelchair the day prior at
his home on Cheeskogili Way.
"It was a crime of passion, maybe hatred,"
Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider said. "We
believe it was a crime targeted at this one
A neighbor called E-911 on Thursday around
5:05 p.m. after Kronholm's wife, Susan, found
him dead. Deputies arrived within 10 minutes and
found no signs of a struggle or a break-in, the
He didn't say how
many times Kronholm was shot or with what kind
of gun. Authorities sent the body to the
Regional Forensic Center in Knoxville for
autopsy and called in the
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to assist.
Kronholm had lived and worked as a contractor
in the retirement community for more than a
decade and built about 100 homes there over the
years, including the house where he died.
"His business was not a factor," the sheriff
said. "He was in poor health and on some
medications, but we don't believe drugs were a
factor. The family is cooperating. Everyone we
talked to described him as a well-liked
individual, a good neighbor and a good
Kronholm suffered from ALS, commonly referred
to as Lou Gehrig's disease, and had used a
wheelchair for years, authorities said. That
didn't stop him from running his business and
supervising construction jobs.
"We used to see him out on a site just about
every day," said Nick Friend, a neighbor. "He
had a great reputation, and he built a great
house. He only built one kind of house - the
kind he wanted."
Neighbors said he'd stopped working recently
as his health grew worse, and the couple had put
their house up for sale. The real estate sign
stood in the yard Friday, framed by crime-scene
Kronholm's wife had left town to visit a
relative and asked someone to stay with him, the
sheriff said. The caretaker left Thursday
afternoon as the wife headed home, leaving
Kronholm alone around 3:40 p.m., the sheriff
said. He died sometime in the next 85 minutes.
Kronholm's death came just five months after
a fatal shooting in April a few blocks away.
Norman Bren Whitton, 69, faces a charge of
second-degree murder after authorities said he
shot Larry Butcher, 74, during an argument April
15 on Cheestana Way. Whitton has claimed
"Those two crimes were close together, which
was remarkable, but there's no connection," the
LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) --
Loudon County authorities have confirmed the
identity of the man killed Thursday evening at his
home in Tellico Village.
Deputies held a news conference
identifying the victim as Ron Kronholm, 79 a
businessman and builder responsible for building
more than 100 buildings in the Tellico Village
Kronholm's wife walked into their
home in the 100 block of Cheeskogili Way around 5:00
p.m. Thursday and discovered he had been shot at
least once. She immediately ran next door, where
neighbors contacted the sheriff's office.
Authorities said he was pronounced
dead on the scene. No motive has been given, but
they did call it a "crime of passion and hatred"
because of the manner in which he was killed. They
also revealed Kronholm suffered from Lou Gehrig's
disease and was confined to a wheel chair.
The Tennessee Bureau of
Investigation is helping with the case. So far,
investigators have determined the doors to the home
were unlocked and their was no sign of forced entry.
The gun used to kill Kronholm has still not been
There was no history of 9-1-1
calls to the home, and family members are
cooperating with authorities.
Deputies wrapped up the news
conference by telling neighbors there is no need to
worry about their safety.
Thursday's homicide marked the
second time this year an elderly person had been
killed in Tellico Village.
On April 15th, Norman Whitton, 69
allegedly shot and killed Larry Butcher, 74. The
incident apparently started between the Tellico
Village residents as road rage involving a golf
cart. Whitton has since been charged with second
Man's fatal shooting under
investigation at Tellico Village
Investigators says Ron Kronholm's wife
found him shot to death in their home
VILLAGE (WATE) -
working on the case of a
builder found shot to
death Thursday at his
Tellico Village home.
victim's identity was released Friday as Ron
Kronholm, 79. The Loudon County Sheriff's
Office says they consider this a crime of
"hatred," and they believe Kronholm, who
mostly used a wheelchair, was chosen
sheriff's office isn't releasing a picture
of Kronholm at the request of his widow.
Tim Guider said Kronholm's wife found him
dead in their home at 139 Cheeskogili Way
around 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
believe he had been dead for several hours.
A neighbor called the sheriff's office.
Guider says Kronholm was a prominent builder
in the area and he built 87 homes in Tellico
worker at Village Home Center, Cindy Hughes,
says Kronholm had multiple sclerosis and
often visited the hardware store for
supplies. She says sometimes he called to
have materials brought outside to him
because he wasn't able to come in and get
says Kronholm was always accompanied by his
Investigators say they've interviewed
several people, but they haven't named a
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is
assisting the sheriff's office with this
Kronholms have grown children who live out
sheriff says they don't believe other people
in the area need to be concerned for their
Although Tellico Village is an upscale
retirement community, this is the second
killing there in five months. In April, the
sheriff's office charged Norman Bren Whitton
for the fatal shooting of Larry Butcher, 74.
Authorities investigate Thursday
homicide in Tellico Village
LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Local and state
authorities are investigating a Thursday afternoon
homicide in Tellico Village.
Officials with the Loudon County
Sheriff's Office tell Volunteer TV News an older man
was found dead inside his home in the 100 block of
Cheeskogili Way around 5:00 p.m.
Homicide investigators were still
on the scene late Thursday night, and the Tennessee
Bureau of Investigation had been called in to
Records filed with the state
property assessor’s office indicate the lakefront
home is owned by Geraldine F. Kronholm. It has also
been entered in the Multiple Listing Service.
According to the entry, the 4,800 square foot home
is currently on the market for $1.149 million.
Volunteer TV News had a crew on
the scene late Thursday night. We’ll have the latest
on East Tennessee This Morning at 5:00 a.m. and
right here on VolunteerTV.com
Elderly man found murdered in Tellico
Village in Loudon County
WBIR Investigators in Loudon County were
questioning two people Thursday night after a family member of
an elderly Tellico Village resident found him dead Thursday
The Loudon County
Sheriff's Department is treating the death as a murder,
according to Chief Deputy Tony Aikens.
Aikens did not release the
man's name or discuss a possible cause of death or motive.
The victim was relatively
well known in the community and had worked as a builder,
Authorities remained on
the scene of the home on Cheeskogili Way Thursday night.
Investigators planned to
question two people in the case through the night, but they
had yet to file any charges.
Another shooting in
Tellico Village in April left a man dead and another facing
charges after a confrontation between drivers of a golf cart
and a car.
Norman Whitton was charged
in the case, which went to a grand jury in June.