After several quiet months, Monroe County was rocked by two
shooting deaths starting Friday afternoon.
On Monday, Monroe County
Sheriff's detectives charged James Ray Parker, 31, Vonore, with first-degree murder in the death
of Kathy Bookout, age 57, of New Highway 68, Madisonville.
Charges were issued after information led to Parker as a suspect in the Sunday killing. Parker
was brought in and he made a statement to Monroe County Sheriff's Office Detectives admitting to
killing Bookout, according to Detective Jennifer Bledsoe.
Investigators said Parker told them he traveled from his home in Vonore to the home of Bookout
with a rifle and shot her, killing her. The weapon has been recovered, investigators said,
where the suspect told them he hid it.
investigators, Parker said he broke out Bookout's bedroom window and shot her in the chest with
the high-powered rifle.
Parker is being held at the Monroe
County Jail as of press time. The Sheriff's Office said it would like to thank the TBI, the
District Attorney's Office, Madisonville Police Department, and the Vonore Police Department for
their assistance in the murder investigation. Investigators have not given a motive for the fatal
A fatal shooting that happened earlier has yet to
produce any charges as of Tuesday.
On Friday, around 12:40 p.m.,
officers were dispatched to Fairview Road in Tellico Plains on a report of an unresponsive subject
in the driveway of his workshop. Upon arrival, officers found 41-year-old Michael Strickland
Strickland had sustained a fatal gunshot wound. Detectives
with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, TBI, and the District Attorney's Office are investigating
the case as a homicide.
"We are chasing down every lead we
can," Monroe County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Brian Graves said Tuesday afternoon.
Graves could not jepordize the investigation by giving out specific
details of the Strickland shooting.
Editor Tommy Millsaps
contributed to this report.