top of page
  • Writer's pictureWRIL-FM

Claiborne County, Tn. Man Sentenced In 2021 Shooting Death

From WRIL The Big One / 1450 WLAF -

Michael Neal Jr. - CCJ

On August 19, 2021, at the request of 8th District Attorney General Jared Effler, TBI agents began assisting the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office in investigating a shooting at a residence in the 300 block of Powell Valley Shores Circle in Speedwell.

38-year-old Jeffery Warwick died as a result of his injuries. During the course of the investigation, agents determined that 42-year-old Michael Neal, Jr. of Speedwell, was the person responsible for Warwick’s death.

On Wednesday, November 17, 2021, the Campbell County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Neal with one count of Second Degree Murder. He was arrested and booked into the Campbell County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

On Monday June 24, 2024 Michael Neal Jr. was sentenced for this and another crime after accepting a please agreement.

1450 WLAF's Susan Sharp has written an excellent piece on this story with more background information.

"As Michael Neal, Jr’s. murder trial drew close, he changed course opting to enter a last minute guilty plea.

In a crowded courtroom, Neal, Jr., of Speedwell, agreed he was guilty of killing 38-year-old Jeffery Warwick. Clad in an orange jail jumpsuit Neal, Jr. remained stone faced as prosecutors described the events that comprised Warwick’s last minutes.

At the middle of the dispute between the men was Neal Jr.’s estranged wife, Mary Neal. The couple had been separated for months, even starting relationships with others. But when Mary Neal moved into a trailer jointly owned by her and Michael Neal, Jr. that was a tipping point.

A discussion was had among the parties about removing personal belongings from the home the day before the shooting. Instead, she went to the mobile home with Warwick, locking the doors and settling in for the night.

“The doors were locked and secured,” Eighth Judicial District Attorney General Lindsey Cadle said in court Monday.

As night gave way to morning, the texts and phone calls between father and son, Neal, Sr., and Neal, Jr., began. The two soon made their way to the Powell Valley Shores home.

Neal, Sr. drove his car as Neal, Jr., rode a four-wheeler; they parked 50 yards from the trailer.

He was “completely out of view of the house,” Cadle said of Neal, Jr.

Both Neals were armed with handguns, which they traded, she said.

Mary Neal was seated in the front part of the trailer as Warwick slept in a bedroom. Neal, Jr. approached the home and began yelling. Soon, he was “beating on the door,” Cadle said.

Within minutes, Neal, Jr. fired the Taurus .357 Revolver down into the porch. This was the shot that woke Warwick, a combat trained veteran. Mary Neal had already called 911 by that point.

Undeterred, Neal, Jr, broke the glass out of a door. Warwick, armed with a .9mm gun, told Neal, Jr. to not come in or he would shoot. He then fired one shot, according to court records.

Neal, Jr., returned three shots through the door of the trailer. Two of the shots struck Warwick. One was a through and through to his legs; the “fatal” shot was to the back of Warwick’s head, Cadle said.

As Warwick hit the floor, Mary Neal rushed to him.

In the moments that followed, Neal, Sr. confiscated all the guns and the Neals made several phone calls. “None of which was connected to the victim’s survival,” Cadle said.

Cadle described the chaotic scene that occurred that morning as a photo of the crime scene came up on a screen in the courtroom. It was a graphic scene that depicted blood spilled onto the floor and splattered around the room. From the defendant’s table, Neal, Jr. looked at the photo without blinking.

After Cadle laid out the facts of the case, Warwick’s family came forward providing a Victim Impact Statement to the court.

Coming to the front of the courtroom, some of Warwick’s sisters cried while the others turned to look at Neal, Jr. His brother-in-law, Eric Johnson described Warwick as a “unique character” who was solely raising his Autistic son.

Warwick was close to his mother, who died as she waited for Neal, Jr. to go to trial.

“Michael, she forgave you,” Johnson said as he looked Neal, Jr. in the eye.

Eighth Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Zack Walden then sentenced Neal.

After pleading guilty to second degree murder, Neal was sentenced to serve 15 years at 100 percent in prison. If his behavior is deemed “good” by the Tennessee Department of Corrections, that can be reduced to serving 85 percent of the time.

Neal, Jr, had other crimes he pleaded to on Monday. Earlier in the year, he had attacked his girlfriend at the time. For those charges, he was given 10 years, which will be served on probation upon his release."

2,661 views0 comments


bottom of page