Kingston, TN (2/9/2021) – A preliminary hearing involving co-defendants Casey Ridenour and Sam Cook (both of whom are in custody at the Roane County Jail) took place in Judge Terry Stevens’ courtroom today. Ridenour and Cook are charged with the Second Degree Murder and Abuse of a Corpse of Aaron Brown (age 37) who according to testimony was found dead in the water off of Little Emory Boat Ramp on December 9th, 2020 after a call to 911. RCSO Lead Investigator Art Wolf and RCSO Investigator John Harold Mayes conducted the death investigation. Medical Examiner Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan, who performed the autopsy on Brown, testified via video about the ‘main cause of death’ being strangulation with a seat belt. Mayes testified about his initial encounter with Cook and Ridenour. ADAs Bob Edwards and Jonathan Edwards conducted the hearing for the prosecution and Attorneys Matt Courteau and Steve McGrath represented Ridenour and Cook. Judge Stevens bound the cases over to the grand jury, including an introduction charge and found Cook guilty four violations of probation, sentencing Cook to serve the balance of his misdemeanor sentences in the Roane County Jail. A simple possession of a pill case was dismissed. District Attorney General Russell Johnson stated that the case would be presented at the next Roane County Grand Jury in June.
ALL PERSONS CHARGED WITH A CRIME ARE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY BY A COURT OF LAW EITHER THROUGH A GUILTY PLEA OR A JURY VERDICT FINDING GUILT. ALL ALLEGATIONS MADE IN WARRANTS, INDICTMENTS OR STATEMENTS ARE DEEMED TO BE ALLEGATIONS UNTIL PROVEN IN A COURT OF LAW. ANY DEFENDANT WHO CANNOT AFFORD ANY ATTORNEY WILL BE APPOINTED ONE AT TAX PAYERS’ EXPENSE.