TBI: Investigation finds Sullivan Co. murder suspect, suspect’s brother sold guns from victim’s house


SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A suspect in a 2018 Sullivan County murder has been indicted on additional charges after an investigation found that he and his brother had sold guns they took from the murder victim’s home.

According to a release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, James Fagans, 62, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder on September 10, 2018.

Photo: James Fagans, courtesy of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

The TBI had previously determined that James Fagans was responsible for the death of Herman Rumley on August 10, 2018. Rumley had been found dead in his Bluff City home.

The release states that an ongoing investigation found that James Fagans and his brother, Jimmie Fagans, 59, had “sold guns taken from the victim’s home after the homicide.”

Photo: Jimmie Fagans, courtesy of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

TBI reports a Sullivan County Grand Jury returned indictments on both brothers on May 26, 2021. James and Jimmie were both charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of money laundering.

Jimmie Fagans was arrested in Marion, Virginia on Tuesday with the help of the Smyth County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office, according to the release. As of Wednesday, he was being held in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon while awaiting extradition to Tennessee.

James Fagans was reportedly arrested on Tuesday with the help of the Bristol, Tennessee Police Department. He was booked into the Sullivan County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

James Fagans had been out on a $100,000 bond from his murder charge at the time of his arrest, according to the TBI.

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