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Special DA assigned to fatal shooting
Craig Northcott.jpg
Craig Northcott

The district attorney in Coffee County has been assigned to prosecute the case should charges be filed from a fatal Sparta Highway shooting on Sunday.

District Attorney General Craig Northcott of Tullahoma will be handling the prosecution of any criminal case which arises from the incident because local District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis has recused herself.

A call to Northcott’s office by the Southern Standard on Thursday was not returned.

“I want the community to know this case is being investigated thoroughly and effectively with no appearance of impropriety,” said Zavogiannis. “I’ve already met with the victim’s family and they understand what’s happening.”

Bud Sharp confirms he has been retained as defense attorney should charges be leveled. The man who fired the deadly shot has still not been identified by law enforcement. The TBI is overseeing the investigation.

Christopher Hollis, 36, was killed in the altercation which started on Sparta Highway as he was travelling inbound Sunday afternoon around 4 p.m. The man who shot Hollis reportedly pulled from Wild Bills BBQ, the former VFW, and made a left turn onto Sparta Highway. 

The subjects reportedly became engaged in an argument as they were driving on the highway with shots fired while the vehicles were in motion. The two men reportedly did not know each other.

In a correction from a story published in Wednesday's edition, the man who allegedly shot Mr. Hollis does not have a relative who works for the District Attorney’s Office. Hollis has a relative who works there.

The alleged shooter does have relatives who work for McMinnville Police Department and Warren County Sheriff’s Department, but not the DA’s Office. The Standard apologizes for the error.

If charges are filed in the shooting they could range from murder all the way down to manslaughter. The prosecutor could opt to level charges at any time, or he could take the case in front of the grand jury in hopes of getting an indictment.

The next meeting of the grand jury is set for next Friday, Nov. 5. The case would likely not be far enough along to present it to the grand jury at that time.

If the grand jury route is taken, it would likely not be before Friday, Dec. 3 to determine whether there are charges in the case. However, the prosecutor could decide to file charges without grand jury action.