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Woman, 54, Killed in Divorce Court; In-Law Arrested

August 21, 1986|Associated Press

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — A woman in court for a divorce hearing was shot to death today by a gunman who held a pistol to her temple and fired twice, and deputies immediately arrested the woman's brother-in-law.

A Washington County deputy sheriff who was standing just outside the courtroom wrestled the man to the floor seconds after the shooting and took away a .38-caliber handgun, authorities said.

They identified the dead woman as Margaret Jeffers, 54, of Jonesborough.

Her brother-in-law, James Howard Jeffers, 55, was charged with first-degree murder, authorities said.

Court officials said Margaret Jeffers was involved in a divorce from Wayne R. Jeffers.

Bill Todd, her attorney, said the shooting stemmed from a property dispute. The two brothers are partners in Jeffers Brothers Auctioneers, a Jonesborough real estate and auctioneering firm.

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