Suspects arrested in connection to McMinn Co. shooting

A 54-year-old woman was found dead and a 31-year-old man was taken to the hospital, according to officials with the McMinn County Sheriff’s Office.
Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 8:58 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 9:32 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - One woman is dead and a man is injured following a shooting on County Road 202 on Saturday evening, according to officials with the McMinn Co. Sheriff’s Office.

54-year-old Mary Denise Dalton was killed and 31-year-old Jonathan c. Burger was wounded and taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to Sheriff Joe Guy.

“It appears that a group of 2-3 people who were having a relationship dispute with the victims came to the residence sometime after 8PM,” said Sheriff Guy. “At least one member of the other party apparently produced a firearm and fired the shots that killed Ms. Dalton and injured Mr. Burger.”

Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are investigating and several search warrants were obtained and executed Sunday morning, according to officials.

“One of the suspects was located in Ooltewah, and the other two were located in Etowah, and all are being questioned,” added Sheriff Guy. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family.”

On Monday, 24-year-old Esau C. Kelly and 45-year-old Melissa K. Pueirrt were arrested, according to officials.

Kelly was charged with murder in the second degree and attempted murder in the second degree and is being held on a $350,000 bond.

Pueirrt was charged with accessory after the fact of murder in the second degree and is being held on a $10,000 bond.

The investigation is ongoing.

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