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Stoll found hanged in jail cell

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By The Staff

By Judy Underwood

Morgan County News Editor

Robert Stoll, an inmate at the Morgan County Jail, was found dead Wednesday morning from an apparent suicide.

Morgan County Chief Deputy William Angel said Stoll's body was found at about 7 a.m. in his cell. Stoll is believed to have hanged himself some time early Wednesday morning. Angel said the last time a jailer had spoken with Stoll was at about 1 a.m.

Stoll was indicted by a Morgan County Grand Jury last week on two counts of second degree murder in the shooting deaths of Jessica Hatmaker and her unborn child. He was accused of firing shots into a car leaving his residence in the Bitter Creek community on Feb. 11. He claimed the occupants were stealing a radiator at the time.

The shot entered the car through the rear driver's side door, traveled through the driver's seat and struck 25-year-old Jessica Hatmaker in the back. She was driving the white Ford Escort Stoll claimed was fleeing from his home.

Traveling with her were her boyfriend Dustin Gunter and a friend Audie Ellis. Hatmaker and Gunter's 15-month-old son was seated in the rear seat on the passenger's side.

Gunter testified during Stoll's preliminary hearing in March that they had stopped because their son was crying and were going to get a diaper bag from the trunk of the car.

Stoll was arraigned in MorganCounty Criminal Court yesterday on the indictments which also included one count of unlawfully possessing a weapon. He had a previous conviction on a felony drug offense which prevented him from legally owning or possessing a firearm in Tennessee, according to District Attorney General Russell Johnson.

Stoll had been an inmate at the Morgan County Jail since his arrest on Feb. 11.

Johnson said early Wednesday morning, that the medical examiner and an investigator with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation were both at the jail. Neither Johnson nor Angel would comment further until the preliminary investigation is complete.

Per policy Stoll's body is being taken to Knoxville for an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.