SWAT Team takes Morristown man suspected in fatal stabbing into custody

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Trent Balson. Source: Cocke County Sheriff’s Office

COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – A Morristown man was taken into custody by the Cocke County SWAT Team and charged with voluntary manslaughter Tuesday as local authorities investigate the fatal stabbing of a Newport man.

Cocke County deputies responded to a reported stabbing on the 200 block of New Cave Church Road in Newport just before 5 p.m. Monday to find 23-year-old Winnifred Walker deceased with what appeared to be knife wounds. Witnesses at the scene said Trent Balson, 25, fled the scene with a female driving identified as 23-year-old Chelsea Sutton.

White Pine police officers located the suspected vehicle involved in the 1200 block of Dynasty Way in White Pine. WPD officers developed information that Balson and Sutton were in the residence but he refused to acknowledge officers commands to exit the residence.

Just before 5 a.m. Tuesday after obtaining a search warrant, Cocke County SWAT Team deployed gas into the home and were able to take both suspects into custody without incident.

Balson has been criminally charged with voluntary manslaughter and Sutton was charged with being accessory after the fact.

Balson admitted to officers that he was involved in an altercation with Walker and admitted to stabbing Walker but claimed the act was done in self-defense.

Investigators came to the conclusion Sutton knew that Balson had committed a felony, knew of an injury sustained by Balson during the commision of a felony and aided Balson in hiding out in the White Pine residence. Investigators said at no time did Sutton attempt to notify authorities and refused numerous commands to exit the residence surrounded by law enforcement personnel.

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