KNOX COUNTY, Tenn — A Knox County grand jury will consider charges against a man accused in the death of a housemate earlier this month.
Tommy Rose waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning in Knox County General Sessions Court.
Police charged him with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. The body of Donnie Moore, who was living with Rose in a North Knoxville house, was found wrapped in a tarp in a shed behind a home on Greenfield Lane on Oct. 6.
A grand jury is also considering charges against two women who lived in the home.
Deborah Gister, 41, and Christina B. McCormack, 48, were in court two weeks ago for a preliminary hearing on charges of abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Rose was expected to appear in court with them but couldn't because he was ill.
Investigators believe that the three were involved with killing Moore and hiding his body, though none of them are charged with murder at this time. Records show the motive in the killing appeared to be to use Moore's Social Security benefits.
A Knoxville Police Department violent crimes investigator and a patrol officer testified at the Oct. 17 hearing. Both said the three bickered among themselves while they were sitting on the front porch of the house and seemed to be pointing the finger at each other.
Investigator Clayton Madison said officers could smell a decomposing body when they entered the backyard, but Rose, whose name was on the lease, would not give permission to search the shed. It took a couple of hours to obtain a warrant that would allow officers to go into the shed.
Prosecutors said in court earlier this month that the medical examiner had still not been able to determine for sure what killed Moore because of the condition of the body, but there was an injury consistent with an assault.