Warrant, autopsy give more details of alleged Seymour murder

Jul. 09, 2013 @ 11:40 PM

A local woman is facing first-degree murder charges after she admitted to detectives that she shot her husband in January as he turned from a closet after he returned to their house following an argument. She then left him trapped in the closet as he lay dying.

Bilinda Morgan Gregory, 44, of 1449 Estates Drive, had previously told detectives she shot 64-year-old Donald Gregory on Jan. 30 after he pulled a gun on her, according to the arrest warrant filed by Sevier County Sheriff’s Lt. Matthew Cubberley.

Late Friday night, she spoke to Deputy Thomas Cowan at the McDonald’s restaurant on Chapman Highway and said she wanted to talk to a detective. She was arrested and charged after going to the sheriff’s office and giving them a new account of what happened Jan. 30. No bond had been set as of Sunday afternoon.

According to the warrant, she admitted Friday that “She armed herself with her Glock pistol after an argument with her husband...

“Donald Gregory left the residence and returned a short time later. She said that he (went) in to the closet in the upstairs bedroom and as he was coming out she shot him,” Cubberley wrote.

“Bilinda Gregory then said she thought her husband was armed but after she shot him she realized he was unarmed. (She) then pushed a large piece of furniture to block the victim into the closet and took his gun that was on the night stand.”

Donald Gregory managed to call 911 himself that night to get aid, but emergency responders had to wait to enter his home because it wasn’t clear if his shooter was still around when they arrived. When deputies entered the house, they found him unresponsive. He died later that evening.

The autopsy report, performed by University Pathologists, says he was shot twice — once through the left chest and once through the right abdomen.

It indicates the medical examiner could not determine how far away the shooter was, but that there are no soot marks or other indications that the shot came from point blank range. One bullet was recovered from his body; the notes indicate it was a hollow point bullet.

As her husband was dying, Gregory took both guns and drove to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, where she turned the weapons over but initially told detectives she shot her husband in self defense as he drew the second gun on her during a domestic dispute.

Deputies had responded to a call about a domestic dispute at the address in August, according to information provided by Capt. Jeff McCarter after the shooting.

Gregory's daughter, who lived in the house with the couple, came to the sheriff’s office with her that night and also gave a statement to investigators.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com