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Trio indicted in mummified body case

A man's body was found in October 2019 wrapped in a tarp in a shed at the North Knoxville home.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Three people face indictment in connection with the discovery of a man's body wrapped in a tarp at a North Knoxville home.

The Knox County grand jury met Wednesday and returned counts against Deborah Gister, Tommy Rose and Christina McCormack. Gister and Rose have been in jail for months.

Gister, 42, is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, evidence tampering, aggravated assault and abuse of a corpse.

Rose, 63, and McCormack, 49, are charged with evidence tampering and abuse of a corpse.

Authorities say Donald Moore was killed and his body left for weeks wrapped in a tarp in a shed at a house on Greenfield Lane where at least a couple of the defendants lived.

They believe the motive behind the killing was to use Moore's Social Security benefits.

Knoxville Police Department officers said they could smell a decomposing body when they went to the house to investigate last year. Rose, whose name was on the lease, would not give permission to search the shed.

Police then secured a warrant.

Police testified last year in a preliminary hearing that Gister gave conflicting statements after her arrest about what happened. At one point she said she poisoned Moore with a barbituate belonging to McCormack, then later said that McCormack stabbed Moore in the eye.

She also told different stories about how Moore's body ended up in the shed, according to investigators. One time she said all three were involved and another time claimed that she and Rose hid the body while McCormack left with the shirt that Moore was wearing when he was killed.