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.