MARYVILLE, Tenn. — The search for a suspected cop-killer in East Tennessee intensifies as the manhunt stretches into a fifth day. Kenneth DeHart, 42, is accused of fatally shooting Deputy Greg McCowan and injuring another officer. The Blount County Sheriff’s Office has raised the reward to $100,000 for any information leading to DeHart’s arrest.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has issued warrants for DeHart, charging him with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and being a felon in possession of a firearm in the Feb. 8 shootings.
A statewide Blue Alert has been issued for DeHart, who is now part of the TBI’s Most Wanted list. His whereabouts are currently unknown, and multiple law enforcement agencies are conducting a widespread search to locate him.
As the manhunt for DeHart continues, local authorities are also focusing on apprehending his alleged associates. Carrie Matthews, DeHart’s girlfriend, was arrested on Feb. 8, while his brother, Marcus DeHart, was arrested on Feb. 9. Both face charges for “accessory after the fact,” with Marcus DeHart being held on a $1 million bond.
According to TBI, the deadly confrontation began with a traffic stop of an SUV on suspicion of erratic driving. DeHart, the driver, refused to exit the vehicle, leading to a struggle that culminated in him opening fire on the officers, fatally injuring Deputy McCowan and wounding Deputy Shelby Eggers.
Deputy Eggers was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and has been released from the hospital, but Deputy McCowan succumbed to his wounds. TBI Director David Rausch assured the public that no stone will be left unturned in the search for DeHart and called for anyone with security footage to come forward with any potentially valuable information.