SWEETWATER-As of Friday afternoon, no arrests had been made in
the Jim Miller murder case now a week old.
The rumor mill countywide was in full swing
spinning various theories on the murder of the Monroe County Election Commission chairman and
well-known businessman, but according to the TBI and District Attorney General Steve Bebb, one thing
is known for sure: Monroe County Sheriff's Capt. Kenny Hope did not commit the crime.
really could not have been in that area," Bebb said Friday.
Bebb said it was the District
Attorney's Office's own investigator, Walter Hunt, who cleared Hope.
"He really worked hard
finding out where Hope was every minute of the day," Bebb said.
Miller's burned Ford Crown
Victoria was found by a Monroe County Sheriff's deputy around 8 p.m. last Saturday on a dirt and
gravel farm road just off Sands Road about 5 miles from the intersection Vonore Road.
was soon discovered in the trunk of the torched car.
Miller had not returned home from
leaving the Election Commission Office in Madisonville around lunchtime that day and family members
early on said they believed it was Miller's body in the trunk.
TBI confirmed Wednesday early
medical investigation indicates Miller is the victim in the trunk and homicide was the cause of
Early in the week rumors were widespread Hope was a suspect in the case and the
Sheriff's Office captain went on a television station Tuesday confirming he had been questioned in
the case and suspended from his job.
TBI announced Thursday Hope had been cleared and was
reinstated on his job.
So where does the case stand now?
"Murders are always hard to
solve," Bebb said. "Having a burned body limits forensic evidence."
Bebb said he has limited
knowledge of the case at this point. He has been quoted in the media as saying Miller was shot in
the head several times, but the former judge and current district attorney general said he has not
seen an autopsy report.
Bebb said he was repeating something he had been told, but now
regrets saying it.
For his part, Bebb said he will not heavily involve himself in the case at
this point. His job will be to prosecute the case when charges are filed.
Bebb said a team of
investigators from the TBI, state Bob and Arson Division, the Sheriff's Office and other local
police agencies are involved.
Bebb said he has already received a lot of calls about the case
and he is not surprised it has attracted a lot of attention.
"You have an Election
Commission official killed," he said. "I'd say he had a lot of friends and a lot of enemies. Any
murder is important. Obviously the murder of an Election Commission official is
But Bebb said his office and the TBI will not let the pressure of the case's
notoriety affect them and they will go about their business thoroughly as they always
Anyone with any information in the case is urged to call a hotline number, (423)