James Douglas Black, Chris Allen Jones and Tabitha Whitlock.
James Douglas Black, Chris Allen Jones and Tabitha Whitlock.

Three Whites Accused of Double Murder over Drugs, Money

March 16, 2012: Three possibly four people are facing murder charges over the murder of a white couple that just moved to Newport, Tennessee.

The two men James Douglas Black, 49 and Christopher Allen Jones, 30 appeared in a Greene County courtroom charges with first degree murder. Tabatha Whitlock, 32, has also been arrested are charged with first degree murder in the deaths of Courtney Thompson and Terrance Stewart.

The bodies were found under a bridge on Highway 321 in Greene County on March 11. The murders are believed to have taken place in Cocke County.

All three defendants are being charged under a first degree murder subsection that is commonly and legally known as "felony murder." according to the Greenville Sun. Judge Kenneth Bailey Jr. set a bond of $250,000 on each charge for the men, for a total of $500,000 each.

Robbery is the probable motive in the killings. Thompson was wanted in Cocke County for a drug-related offense, according to Third Judicial District Attorney General C. Berkeley Bell. "It's possible there was a robbery," he said. "She was allegedly seen with a large sum of money [on Saturday]." Other reports relate this was over drugs and money. As one law enforcement official comment on local TV, "Every crime lately seems related to drugs."