Friday, February 28, 2014

Man indicted on attempted murder, sexual assualt charges in Smokies incident

U.S. Attorney William C. Killian announced yesterday that a federal grand jury in Knoxville returned a three count indictment on December 3, 2013, against William E. Seevers, 48, for one count of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated sexual abuse by force. Seevers appeared in court on February 27, 2014, before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Bruce Guyton and pleaded not guilty to the charges in the indictment. He is being held pending trial, which has been set for April 29, 2014, in U.S. District Court, Knoxville.

The indictment alleges that in June 2012, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Seevers attempted to kill a woman by stabbing her in the neck with a knife. Additionally, Seevers engaged in sexual activity with the individual by use of force and placing her in fear of death by holding her at knife point and stabbing and punching her when she attempted to flee from him.

The victim was walking along the Gatlinburg Trail, which connects the Sugarlands Visitors Center with the city of Gatlinburg, when she was attacked at around 2:45 p.m. on the afternoon of June 8, 2012. The victim suffered multiple stab wounds to the neck, shoulder and hand. The then-44-year-old woman made her way to Gatlinburg Bypass where she flagged down a passing motorist for assistance.

If convicted, Seevers faces two terms of life in prison followed by an additional 20 years.

This indictment is the result of an investigation by the National Park Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kolman will represent the United States.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.


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