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Johnson City mother trying to move forward after her son's murder

By Lyndsey Price, lprice@wcyb.com
Published On: May 16 2014 05:15:27 PM CDT
Updated On: May 16 2014 04:23:00 PM CDT

A Jonesborough man accused of murder made his first court appearance Friday.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

A Jonesborough man accused of murder made his first court appearance Friday.

The victim's mother is trying to move forward after finding out her son was killed Thursday night.

Karen Nelson says she was at work Thursday night when she couldn't get a hold of her son, Casey Jones. "I can't really even believe that it’s true. I just keep thinking that he's going to come home, and I know he's not," she told us.

Lieutenant Steve Sherfey with the Johnson City Police tells us they found Jones' body in a van outside of the Johnson Inn Thursday evening.

Sherfey says they found Jones shot once in the head.

Heather Wilcox was Jones' girlfriend. She says the next few days will be difficult. "It doesn't feel like it's real," she said. "I feel so weird right now."

Sherfey says witnesses told investigators that Jones had been in a fight with the suspect, Coty Bishop of Jonesborough. "Apparently they had been in a vehicle together. An altercation occurred, and Mr. Bishop fired a revolver," he said.

Sherfey tells us the two men were acquaintances.

We did some digging and found both men have a history with police.

Casey Jones' mom told us her son just got of prison but that didn't lessen her feelings about him. "He always tried to help people. He was real independent. He tried to do things for himself, he was a good kid," she said.

Lieutenant Sherfey says their investigation is not over, but they do have an idea on what caused the fight. "It's possibly drug-related in talking with witnesses and people there on the scene. It could be drug related."

Bishop is charged with second degree murder and tampering with evidence.

Meanwhile, Jones' girlfriend says she'll deal with this loss one day at a time, but she's scared. "10 years ago in Johnson City you didn't hear of stuff like this. Well now there have been shootings like crazy around here. I'm scared to even live around here anymore," says Wilcox.

During his arraignment, a judge assigned Coty Bishop a court-appointed attorney and set bail at a $150,000.