Suspect charged with murder in weekend stabbing, victim identified as Georgia man

Jeff Bobo • Feb 18, 2007 at 11:06 AM

UPDATE - On Monday morning the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office identified the victim in a fatal stabbing that occurred over the weekend.

Police say Richard Lee Shanklin, 31, was from Fayetteville, Ga. He was here for employment with a construction company and staying in a motel in Elizabethton.

Click here for earlier story: Sullivan deputies investigate fatal shooting and fatal stabbing.


BLOUNTVILLE - A man who allegedly admitted to stabbing a hitchhiker Saturday morning and leaving him in a rural area of Sullivan County has been charged with second-degree murder.

The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office reportedly became aware of murder suspect Casey Joseph Britt, 32, 1413 Charity Hill Road, Elizabethton, thanks to a telephone tip from his brother Chris Britt Saturday morning.

The victim, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of family, was discovered in a ravine off Route 421 in Sullivan County in an area between Bristol and Johnson County.

Around 10 a.m. Saturday Chris Britt told the SCSO that his brother had told him that he had stabbed a man the night before. Casey Britt met with deputies on Route 421 a short time later and reportedly told SCSO detectives that he had become involved in an altercation with the victim as they drove on Highway 11-E in Sullivan County. Casey Britt said he had met that man at a Johnson City restaurant, that they had both been drinking, and the man needed a ride so Britt offered to drive him.

Britt also reportedly stated that he stabbed the victim and then drove him to the mountain so he could leave him there.

"Apparently the fight got started in the vehicle, and proceeded outside," SCSO Lt. Joey Strickler said. "As far as the reason why they fought, I don't know. There was signs of a struggle inside the suspect's vehicle."

Britt reportedly made a statement that he and the victim began arguing and Britt allegedly backed the truck into a pull-off on a road off Route 421. Britt told police he pulled out a knife and stabbed the man in the head and shoulders. The man then got out of the truck and took off his coat.

The body was discovered not far from the area where Britt said he left the man.

The victim's coat was found near him. Investigators also reportedly found a bloody knife in Britt's vehicle.

The ID of a Georgia man was found near the victim, but the SCSO has not confirmed that it belongs to the victim.

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