Blue Alert: Manhunt underway for cop-killer Kenneth Wayne DeHart Jr., with reward now up to $100,000

MARYVILLE, TN— A statewide manhunt is underway in Tennessee to apprehend 42-year-old Kenneth Wayne DeHart Jr. on suspicion that he shot two Blount County Sheriff's Deputies, killing one of them Thursday night.

According to state authorities, DeHart, whose brother was recently arrested, is now on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Most Wanted List with a $100,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

On Friday, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that DeHart is wanted on a charge of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, and one count of felon in possession of a weapon. DeHart's brother Marcus Erving DeHart, 41, was arrested as an accessory and is being held on a $1 million bond.

Around 8:30 pm Thursday, Deputies Greg McCowan and Shelby Eggers encountered DeHart during a traffic stop in Maryville, TN, and instructed DeHart to exit his vehicle. A press release from the Blount County Sheriff's Department stated that he refused to comply and a Taser was deployed with no effect.

After the Taser deployment, DeHart drew a firearm and reportedly opened fire on the deputies, striking McCowan fatally and wounding Eggers in the leg. Eggers managed to return fire at his assailant, Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong told reporters during a press conference. DeHart fled the scene in his vehicle.

Both deputies were transported to an area hospital where McCowan tragically died. Eggers was treated and released. He's recovering at home, according to a Sheriff's spokesman.

A multitude of agencies, businesses, and individuals, including the Smith & Wesson Company, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers, have come together to offer a total (as of this report) of $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of DeHart.

In a statement posted to social media, the Sheriff's Department said, "The Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies are actively searching for Kenneth Dehart in connection with the death of a deputy and the injury of another deputy Thursday evening. Dehart is considered armed and dangerous and you should not approach him. If anyone has any information about Dehart's whereabouts, please call 865-981-7125. Please look at the attached photo of Kenneth Dehart that was taken this evening."

According to Knox News, Blount County Chief Deputy Jeff French said in a video, "We're going to work tirelessly until we bring Mr. DeHart into custody and we're not going to stop."

The Smoky Mountain chapter of the Tennessee Police Benevolent Association and the Police Benevolent Foundation have set up a fundraiser for the family of Deputy McCowan. He is survived by two children and a granddaughter. 100% of the funds received by the PBF will go to Deputy McCowan's family according to the donation website.
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This POS was apprehended yesterday


Thankfully, Tennessee will seek the death penalty (dp) in cases like this, unlike California and several other states with the dp on the books. What will his lawyers come up with as mitigation factors?


Vehicle info would be helpful.

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