SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Donald Britt, the man facing numerous murder charges out of Sullivan County, appeared in court on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 9:30 a.m.
During the appearance, Britt waived his preliminary hearing. He is currently facing charges in the Jan. murders of Katie Arnold and Barry Countiss.
The session ended after Britt and his public defender asked to waive their preliminary hearing. His public defender told the judge this is after receiving information from the state this morning.
“Today is just one step among many headed toward criminal court,” said First Judicial District Attorney General Barry Staubus, who was present for the hearing.
Staubus is now in charge of moving Britt’s case to the criminal court.
“All I can tell you at this point, he’s been charged,” said Staubus. “He’s been indicted on one charge, first-degree murder. That case has already been indicted. The next step, we’ll indict this case now that it has been bound over to criminal court.”
Britt is set to appear in the Sullivan County Criminal Court on April 14.
He is currently being held in the Sullivan County Jail on a $250,000 bond.
Britt was already facing a first-degree murder charge in Arnold’s death when a Jan. 25 presentment from a grand jury affirmed the following additional charges related to Countiss’s death:
- 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
On Jan. 18, police allege Britt shot Arnold in the Deck Lane area near the Tri-Cities Airport. Britt then allegedly killed Countiss and stole his Nissan Xterra, which resulted in a multiple-agency police chase before his arrest. The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office then named Britt a suspect in the murder of Countiss on Jan. 27.