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Kingsport murder suspect indicted

Rain Smith • Updated Oct 11, 2017 at 2:40 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — There’s enough evidence in January’s asphyxiation death of a Kingsport man to send a murder suspect to trial, according to a Sullivan County grand jury.

Jeffrey Dale Flanary, 53, was originally arrested by Kingsport police on Feb. 4 following an extensive manhunt in Lynn Garden that included a helicopter. Four days prior, the body of Michael Dale Davidson, 59, was located inside his residence on Mull Street.

On Tuesday, the grand jury indicted Flanary on his original charges: premeditated first-degree murder, felony first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery and two counts of theft over $2,500. Since his arrest nine months ago, Flanary has remained held in the Sullivan County jail on $251,250 bond.

Davidson’s body was found in his Lynn Garden home during a police welfare check request on Jan. 31. The Kingsport Police Department initially referred to the discovery as a “suspicious death,” then later released photos of Davidson’s conversion van and said it was missing.

Three days after Davidson was discovered deceased, the KPD announced warrants had been issued for the arrest of Flanary. Reports that he had been spotted spurred overnight police saturation in Lynn Garden and the surrounding area. Flanary was arrested the next morning near the Interstate 26 interchange, where he allegedly tried to run from police but was apprehended.

Citing prosecution of the case, police have yet to identify publicly a possible motive or how Flanary was tabbed as the suspect. Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus reports that an autopsy of Davidson revealed the cause of death as asphyxiation.

The next court date for Flanary was not immediately known.

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