Estranged couple found dead

On Sunday, Nov. 24, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call in the 1700 block of the Smoke Rise community for a domestic disturbance call.Upon arriving on the scene, officers observed the back door of the residence had been forced open and a male subject lying on the floor unresponsive.

According to the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, deputies continued clearing the home and found a second victim, a female, lying on the bedroom floor. It appeared that both victims, Ricky and Delilah McKee, had been fatally injured from gunshot wounds.

Blount County Sheriff Mark Moon said the deaths are believed to be domestic related, and there was not a pending threat to the general public.

According to court dockets, the couple was married in 1993 and had separated on Sept. 28. They have no minor children. Ricky McKee filed a complaint for divorce on Oct. 1 alleging “an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage and further attempts to reconcile are impractical or futile and not in the best interest of the parties.”

The court ordered a mutual restraining order for both parties on Oct. 10. The court also set aside an ex parte protection order filed Oct. 4 by Delilah McKee citing verbal and mental abuse, threats, and physical abuse.

Ricky McKee’s attorney filed an answer to the ex parte protection order on Oct. 9 and included a motion for drug tests due to allegations of drug use by members of the home, including Delilah McKee. Mr. McKee was allowed to get his personal belongings and guns from the home at 3 p.m. on Oct. 10.

On Oct. 21, Ricky McKee’s attorney filed for a motion to issue a pistol permit, which was up for renewal. He was told by the Sheriff’s Office that issuing the permit would require an order from the court.

In his motion, he alleged he was a supervisor at his place of employment and had to open the business early in the morning. The motion also stated that the business is located in a dangerous part of town. It further stated that on at least one other occasion a previous supervisor had been robbed at gunpoint, and he was in fear of the same thing happening to him.

Delilah McKee filed a counter-claim for divorce on Oct. 23. In the counter claim, she too, cited an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage. In addition, she alleged actual violence, with danger to life or health. She said that Ricky McKee had been violating the protection from abuse order by calling her, stalking her, and photographing her.

The Blount County Correctional Facility records verify that Ricky McKee was arrested on Nov. 20 and charged with a third-degree domestic violence charge.

The court was notified of the Nov. 20 arrest of Ricky McKee for third-degree domestic violence on Nov. 21. His motion to issue a pistol permit was denied that day. The court found him in contempt of court for failure to abide by a previous order and ordered a writ of arrest for Mr. McKee that included him to be held without bond.

According to the Blount County Correctional Facility records, Ricky McKee was released from the jail at 8:58 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24, on a $2,500 bond despite a no bond order.

Blount County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page posted late Monday afternoon saying, “Regarding the matter of the no bond order, we are currently in the middle of an in-depth investigation to get answers as to what exactly happened. Once the investigation is completed and we have those answers, more information will be given at that time. For now, we offer our sincerest condolences to the families of the victims and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this most difficult time.”

Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey said, “I am very sad and upset about what happened last (Sunday) night. The judge had ordered that he (Ricky McKee) not be released from jail; however, he was released from the jail despite a no-bond. My office will look into how this failure of the system occurred so that it will not happen again.”

As of press time, the case remains under investigation and no further information has been released to the public.