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First appearance and arraignment set for 3 accused of killing Claiborne County man

Updated: Apr 15

From WRIL -

The case against three people charged in the death of 28-year-old Aaron Jeremiah Massengill of Claiborne County now has a first appearance and arraignment date set since being bound over to the Grand Jury.


26-year-old Patrick Andrew Smith, 23-year-old Courtney L. Gilpin, and 36-year-old Jimmy Lee Riffe have been indicted and all face one count each of first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Now that the Grand Jury has met, the trio will appear before Judge Shayne Sexton on Monday, May 3, 2021, at 8:30 am.


After a lengthy search for Massengill who was reported missing February 16th of this year, his body was discovered Feb. 22 along Ferguson Ridge Road. An autopsy revealed that Massengill died as a result of a gunshot wound.

The Tazewell Police, Claiborne County Sheriff’s Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department worked in conjunction to find Smith, Gilpin, and Riffe and charge them with Massengill’s death.

We hope to bring you coverage from the courtroom if permitted by Judge Sexton.

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