SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Donald Britt, the Sullivan County man accused of fatally shooting a woman on Jan. 18 and who allegedly led multiple police agencies on a pursuit, faces numerous counts, including first-degree murder, related to a killing later that night.
A grand jury presentment dated Wednesday charges Britt with shooting Barry Countiss of Blountville after entering Countiss’s home without his consent. The seven-count presentment also reveals that in addition to stealing Countiss’s vehicle as previously reported, Britt is alleged to have stolen firearms and ammunition from the victim’s home.
According to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO), the officers found the body of Countiss in his home Jan. 19. Police then reportedly found Countiss’s vehicle missing from the residence, resulting in police naming Britt as a suspect in the murder.
Britt was arrested later in Johnson City that afternoon after a multi-agency-involved police chase. He was initially arrested on charges of the murder of Arnold.
Wednesday’s presentment involved SCSO Investigator Stephen Riner directly presenting evidence and witnesses to the grand jury. The grand jury affirmed the following charges:
- First-degree murder
- Felony murder
- Especially aggravated burglary
- Possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony
- Possession of a handgun by a convicted felon
- Theft over $2,500 but less than $10,000
- Theft over $1,000 but less than $2,500
The especially aggravated burglary count includes a claim that Britt “unlawfully and feloniously” entered Countiss’s home without consent, committed a theft while he was there and “did cause serious bodily injury” to Countiss. Especially aggravated burglary is a class B felony.
The theft over $2,500 but less than $10,000 count is connected to Britt’s alleged theft of Countiss’s Nissan X-Terra. Britt was captured Jan. 19 after a chase in which he was driving the same vehicle. Theft in that amount is a class D felony, while theft over $1,000 but less than $2,500 — the charge related to the theft of weapons and ammunition — is a class E felony.
Britt was also served a no-bond capias from criminal court on the new charges Friday morning, according to the SCSO.