KNOXVILLE –An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has led to the indictment of a Morgan County man on murder and arson charges.

In December 2017, at the request of 8th District Attorney General Jared Effler, TBI Special Agents joined Tennessee Fire Investigative Services and the Fentress County Sheriff’s Office in investigating a residential fire that occurred on Maynard Drive in Grimsley on December 2nd. The body of Melissa L. Durham was found inside the home. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that led them to Johnathan Donavan Smith (11-23-70) as the individual responsible for Durham’s death. The investigation further revealed that Smith intentionally started the fire at the residence.

Today, the Fentress County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Smith with one count of Second Degree Murder and one count of Aggravated Arson. This afternoon, he was served in the Fentress County Jail, where he was already being held on unrelated charges.

Johnathan Smith