Sweetwater man found guilty in woman's slaying

By Natalie Neysa Alund knoxnews.com
A Sweetwater, Tenn., man was convicted and sentenced to life in prison this week for the shotgun slaying of a 43-year-old Lenoir City woman more than two years ago.

Following a three-day trial inside a Monroe County courtroom, a jury on Wednesday found 47-year-old Michael Dewey Ellington guilty of first-degree murder in the March 17, 2009, death of Julia Ann Kinsey.

On the day of the killing, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office responded to a shooting call at Ellington's home at 1635 Old Highway 68.

Upon arrival, deputies found Kinsey lying on the floor, shot in the back of the head.

A 12-gauge shotgun was recovered by investigators, authorities said.

According to 10th Judicial District Attorney General Steve Bebb, Ellington had claimed Kinsey attacked him with a knife and that he acted in self-defense when he shot her.

"But he shot her in the back of the head at almost point-blank range, so that's hard to believe," Bebb said Friday.

Ellington's defense attorney, Jeanne Wiggins of the 10th District Public Defender's Office, could not be reached for comment.

Court papers show Criminal Court Judge Amy Reedy, who presided over the trial, sentenced Ellington to life with the possibility of parole.