OLIVER SPRINGS (WATE) – Four years have passed since Brooke Morris, 23, was shot and killed. Thursday marks the anniversary of her death. The man charged in the case, Shawn Smoot, has now had six attorneys on the case, delaying the trial repeatedly.
Morris’ mother Tina Gregg held a candlelight vigil at the location where her daughter took her last breath, the first time a vigil has been planned there. Gregg says she goes there often to place flowers and believes now is the time to remember her daughter there with a candlelight vigil.
Morris’ body was found October 15, 2011, on Old Blair Road in Roane County. This will be the location of Thursday night’s candlelight vigil.
“We’ve got a cross up and we’ve got flowers up and I’ve just always wasted to have one there. That’s where she was taken. She was shot and killed and she was left,” said Gregg.
Gregg says even though it’s only been four years, it feels like a lifetime since she’s heard her daughter’s voice.
“I think that’s the thing I miss the most because I can look at her pictures and I can see her eyes and her smile but I can’t hear her voice and I think to me that’s what I miss most,” she said.
Gregg has been waiting four years for the trial of the man charged in her daughter’s murder. She’s been to court dozens of times for Smoot’s hearings and his murder trial has been delayed many times. Three attorneys were taken off the case for conflict of interest and another attorney was replaced because Smoot told the judge he wasn’t doing enough work in the case. He is now on his sixth attorney.
“Four years is a long time. It’s a terribly long time to wait on a murder trial. Five lawyers later, I’m not really happy with the way things have gone,” said Gregg.
The trial has been set for December 7 and Gregg hopes it goes forward, but after so many delays, she isn’t confident it will happen then.
“All I can do is hope and pray that it goes the right way,” she said.
Gregg says each day is a struggle for her, but this time of year is especially difficult with October 15 being the date her daughter was murdered, November being Morris’ birthday and the upcoming holidays.