Sullivan Co. murder victim pregnant; suspect now charged with 2 counts of first-degree murder

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Court documents obtained by News Channel 11 reveal more about what led up to a murder over the weekend in Sullivan County. Court documents show the victim was pregnant at the time of her death.

Authorities reported that a woman, identified as Melissa Mingle, 37, was found unresponsive in the front yard of her home on Fordtown Road Sunday.

Courtesy: Family of Melissa Mingle

We were told Mingle was taken to the hospital to be treated for her injuries and died from those injuries on Monday.

MORE: Family of Sullivan Co. woman who died Monday announces funeral arrangements

According to court documents, the suspect in this case, Nathaniel White-Young, was at her home with their young son when this incident occurred.

Courtesy: Family of Melissa Mingle

Court documents revealed, “During the incident, a fire was started inside the residence that was extinguished by Warrior’s Path Volunteer Fire Department. A green and black push mower was located inside the living room upside down. A strong odor of gasoline in the residence could be detected by me and other investigators.”

According to those same court documents, hospital staff alerted authorities that Mingle had been struck in the head “with an unknown object, causing severe head trauma.”

Authorities confirmed that White-Young was found in Hamblen County Monday after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

A note at the bottom of the court documents that appeared to be hand-written said that the victim passed away on 10-7 and that, “The victim passed away with unborn child from her injuries.”

Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Mingle was pregnant and that White-Young now faces two counts of First-Degree Murder.

Investigators spoke to a man who’d talked to White-Young that night, saying White-Young said,”he had really messed up by pushing her down and she hit her head, he then started a small fire to get help.”

Courtesy: Family of Melissa Mingle

News Channel 11 requested White-Young’s criminal background Monday, which revealed he had previously been arrested on October 28, 2018 for aggravated domestic assault involving Mingle.

White-Young had entered a guilty plea for simple assault, and his jail time was suspended. He was sentenced to a $50 fine and put on probation and ordered to complete anger management.

White-Young was also ordered to have no violent contact with Mingle following the incident.

Leaders at the Branch House Family Center in Sullivan County said they’d like to see more done to keep all domestic violence victims safe.

“That handguns are not a part of the equation when there is an order of protection that is enforced and that victims have easy access to the court system,” Branch House Executive Director Otis Thornton said.

White-Young served 15 days in jail for an assault in July 2018.

The man who was with Mingle at the time of the assault told police White-Young,”punched her window up to 10 times.”

White-Young “swung his fist and hit me in the side of the head, and I fell on the ground.”

The victim also told police White-Young threatened to kill him.

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