Accused double-murder suspect Azotea makes court appearance

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CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – The man accused in a double murder made a brief appearance in a Carter County courtroom Wednesday morning.

The hearing was to make a ruling on whether one of Eric Azotea’s defense attorneys, Steve Finney, needed to be removed from the case due to a conflict of interest.

Azotea is charged with killing Amber Terrell and Art Gibson in 2015, then cutting up their bodies and trying to burn them to cover up the crime.

District Attorney General Tony Clark says Finney actually prosecuted Azotea in a case several years ago, while Finney was working for the District Attorney’s Office.

Wednesday, Clark told Judge Stacy Street that he has not yet been able to get an opinion on the matter from the Board of Professional Responsibility yet. That led Street to order that the attorneys on both sides of the case sit down together with, or conference call together, with the Board of Professional Responsibility to get that opinion.

Street reset the hearing for August 5th.

Defense Attorney Gene Scott also made a request to the court that Azotea be given a mat during the day time in his cell at the Carter County Jail. Scott told Street that not having a mat was basically putting his client in isolation, and was affecting his mental health.

Street denied the request, saying it was a proper precaution by the Sheriff’s Office, after Azotea had previously attempted to escape from the jail.

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