Hawkins woman sentenced to 5½ years for 2016 fatal shooting of niece

Jeff Bobo • Oct 15, 2018 at 6:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A Church Hill woman who was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter by a Hawkins County jury in the 2016 shooting death of her niece-in-law was sentenced earlier this month to five years and six months.

Beth Ann Manis, 45, of Church Hill, was sentenced on Oct. 5 by Judge John Dugger but allowed to remain free on her previous bond pending a hearing on her motion for a new trial, which is set for Nov. 1.

Manis stood trial June 20-21 in Hawkins County Criminal court charged with first degree murder, and faced the possibility of life in prison if convicted.

Instead a jury found her guilty of voluntary manslaughter, a Class C felony punishable by three to six years.

She must serve 30 percent of her sentence before she is eligible for parole.

Manis was charged with the Oct. 1, 2016, shooting death of 25-year-old Brittany Murray, who was the daughter of her husband’s brother.

A dispute erupted between Manis and Murray after Manis was informed that her brother-in-law, Murray’s father, had supposedly been claiming that the two of them had a sexual relationship.

What followed was an exchange of ugly phone calls and threatening text messages. Murray, her mother and her fiancé arrived at Manis’ residence at 5127 Carters Valley Road, Lot 6, near Church Hill, around 9:35 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2016.

Different accounts of what happened leading up to the shooting were given during the trial, but when Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived, they found Murray lying dead in the middle of the roadway in front of Manis’ trailer with a gunshot wound to the head.

Prosecutors argued that Manis lured Murray to her home with threats and challenges with the intent of shooting her.

Manis claimed that she feared for her safety and the safety of her 2-year-old son who was in her bed at the time of the incident.

Other recent Criminal Court actions

* Randy Glen Fields, 51, 2180 Stanley Valley Road, Surgoinsville, was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days of supervised probation for aggravated criminal trespass and theft under $1,000.

* DaQuan J. Carter, 24, 1909 Carters Valley Road, Surgoinsville, was served a sealed indictment warrant for aggravated assault and felony reckless endangerment.

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