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Trial begins for Sevier man charged with killing teenage girlfriend

2:57 PM, Apr 25, 2012   |    comments
Jacob Stanton
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Trial is underway for a Sevier County accused of murdering his girlfriend in 2009.

Testimony began Wednesday morning in 23-year-old Jacob Santon's case.

Authorities originally charged Santon with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Leah Avril, but when the case went to the grand jury, Stanton received a first-degree murder indictment. 

The trial could continue into the weekend.

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(Nov. 8, 2009) The Sevier County Sheriff's Department said a 21-year-old man has been charged with shooting and killing an 18-year-old woman. 

Deputies responded to an apartment at 160 Murrell Meadows Drive around 5:52 p.m Tuesday. Authorities said they found an unconscious female lying on a bed with a gunshot wound to the chest.

The woman, Leah V. Avril of Robert Henderson Road in Sevierville, was flown to UT Medical Center where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Deputies said they arrested Jacob A. Stanton at the scene. He lived in the apartment where the shooting occurred.

Authorities charged Stanton with one count of 2nd-degree murder. He is being held in the Sevier County Jail awaiting arraignment.

Officials said the investigation is still open.

The report by Sevier County Sheriff's Office Detective Matthew Cubberley indicated that Stanton admitted to having shot Avril in the chest with a .45 pistol found at the scene.

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