Murder suspects in unrelated cases take pleas

Published 8:53 pm Monday, March 20, 2023

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Mamie Nicole Shafer and Jacob Cory McGeorge have taken plea agreements in Claiborne Criminal Court on unrelated cases involving the deaths of their victims.

Shafer, 43, was initially charged with second-degree murder for the Sept. 26 shooting death of 43- year-old David A. Laws. Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched during the early morning hours to a residence on Mockingbird Circle in Harrogate. The deputies thought they were responding to the scene of a male who had been shot in the arm. Instead, they determined that Laws had died on scene from wounds sustained during the shooting.

Shafer, who was a convicted felon at the time of the fatality, was detained when the deputies discovered she was in possession of a gun. Shafer was arrested on scene. Her charges were later upgraded to criminal homicide.

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Shafer took a plea agreement, reducing her initial second-degree murder charge to voluntary manslaughter. She was sentenced to 15 years at 45 percent confinement with credit for some 16 months of jail time already served.

McGeorge, 25, was initially charged with second-degree murder for the Nov. 27, 2019 shooting death of 40-year-old Charles R. Bussell. Both men, residents of Pineville, Kentucky, were traveling along Hwy. 63 in the Speedwell community of Claiborne County, Tennessee. Bussell was reportedly shot in the head with a .357 Magnum while driving his SUV – causing the vehicle to decelerate before rolling off the roadway and colliding with a tree.

Initially called in as a one-vehicle crash, Bussell’s lifeless body was discovered on scene by responding officers. The report said there were no powder burns detected on the victim’s head.

Officers spent more than a day searching for the suspect, who was finally found in Middlesboro, Kentucky and arrested. McGeorge fought extradition back to Claiborne County but lost the struggle, winding up in jail charged with criminal homicide.

At the time of the arrest, Claiborne Sheriff Bob Brooks said he believed the shooting to be drug-related and that he was familiar with both men as part of the drug culture.

McGeorge, whose second-degree murder charge was downscaled to voluntary manslaughter, was sentenced to 15 years at 45 percent confinement. He was given credit for 864 days of jail time already served.