NEWPORT—Two people have been charged following a fatal stabbing in Newport on Monday, Sept. 30.
Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes identified the individuals as Trent Thomas Balson, 25, Morristown, and Chelsea Sutton, 23. Both were taken into custody at a residence in White Pine by the Cocke County SWAT team.
On Monday, several first responders were dispatched to the 200 block of New Cave Church Road, in reference to a stabbing around 4 p.m. Upon arrival, Cocke County Sheriff deputies found the victim, Winnifred Marvin Cas Walker, 23, deceased on the front steps of a residence with apparent knife wounds.
Balson and Sutton had fled the scene prior to deputies’ arrival.
According to a press release, at approximately 12:20 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1, detectives with the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office contacted White Pine Chief of Police Chad Cotter to request his department’s assistance in checking possible locations.
White Pine police officers located Balson’s vehicle at a residence on Dynasty Way in White Pine.
During the investigation, White Pine police officers obtained information that the suspects, Balson and Sutton, were inside the residence but they refused to exit the home.
At 4:55 a.m., the Cocke County SWAT team came to the scene and deployed CS gas into the residence and both Sutton and Balson exited the residence without further incident and were placed under arrest.
Investigators learned that Balson fatally stabbed Walker at the New Cave Church residence. Balson then got inside a vehicle, driven by Sutton, fleeing the scene.
“Chelsea Sutton aided Trent Thomas Balson after he stabbed the victim by driving the getaway car.” Sheriff Fontes stated in the press release. “Sutton had knowledge that Balson committed a felony and aided Balson in hiding out in the residence in White Pine. At no time did Sutton attempt to notify authorities.”
According to the press release Balson admitted to stabbing Walker but claimed it was self-defense.
“I want to thank the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the White Pine Police Department for their assistance in the investigation and apprehension of the suspect and his accomplice.” Sheriff Fontes stated. “The individuals were criminally charged.”
Sutton is charged with accessory after the fact and Balson faces charges of voluntary manslaughter.