Murder trial set for May in Lenoir City

Ronald Gregory Grizzle

A Lenoir City man charged with first-degree murder four years ago must now wait until May to stand trial.

Ronald Gregory Grizzle was charged with first-degree murder Dec. 24, 2015, after shooting 27-year-old Cory M. Brown at a residence in the 300 block of Clinchview Drive near the border between Loudon and Roane counties.

Loudon County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Kevin Dailey arrived to find Brown on the ground and the man who made the 911 standing near him on the phone, according to the arrest report.

“Directed (Grizzle) … to put his hands up and to get on the ground, in which he did not comply at first due to his hysteria of the situation,” Dailey said in the 2015 report. “However, later complied with my commands where I took him into custody and placed him in the back seat of my cruiser.”

The shooting took place after an incident between the victim, who was living in a camping trailer next to the home, and Grizzle, who was living with his father at the residence. Grizzle spoke with Brown inside the camper and told him to leave the residence, according to LCSO Lt. Patrick Upton.

Grizzle admitted to the shooting during multiple interviews with police on the scene. Four days after his arrest, Grizzle was taken to University of Medical Center after sustaining injuries to his neck and head while at Loudon County Jail.

Upton found Grizzle in the jail bleeding from the wrist where he jumped “in the air on purpose, flipped and landed on the concrete floor.”

“The only thing we can think of at this point is he either tried to kill himself or hurt himself, but the incident is on video, and you can plainly see on the video that he was not touched by any corrections officers,” Upton said in the Dec. 30, 2015, edition of the News-Herald.

Grizzle’s case was reset Dec. 2 for trial on May 27, Steve Harrelson, Loudon County circuit court clerk, said in an email correspondence. The hearing will be moved to Lenoir City Municipal Building since the Loudon County Courthouse can’t be used.

“With the courthouse being burned and having no courtroom to handle a homicide murder case, all of our murder cases in Loudon have been put off until next term in May,” Russell Johnson, 9th Judicial District attorney general, said. “I got with the state attorney general’s office, went through the statutes, the attorney general’s opinion and laid out a scenario where we could do a memorandum of understanding with Lenoir City and the county where we could use the Lenoir City city hall courtroom because it has a holding cell, it has an adequate space for jurors.”

Grizzle was evaluated and deemed competent but will undergo further mental evaluation prior to the hearing.

Harold Balcom, Grizzle’s attorney, could not be reached for comment by News-Herald presstime.