Carter County judge appoints new attorneys for man accused of killing local couple

Eric Azotea

CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Eric Azotea, the man accused of killing a local couple and hiding their bodies beneath his home,  appeared in a Carter County courtroom on Tuesday morning.

Judge Stacy Street appointed new counsel for Azotea after his previous attorney was removed from the case due to a conflict of interest. Judge Street appointed Gene Scott as his attorney and Dan Smith his co-counsel.

His next motion hearing is set for January 25, 2017.  His trial is expected to begin in mid-September.

Man charged with killing Sullivan Co. couple appears in court
Man charged with killing Sullivan Co. couple appears in court (Amber Terrell on left; Art Gibson on the right)

Azotea is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the killings of Amber Terrell and Art Gibson.

Last year, investigators said they found their bodies inside a crawl space in Azotea’s home, after they had been missing for months. The district attorney called it one of the most horrific crimes he’d ever seen.

Back in September of this year, a judge granted the state’s request to remove Azotea’s lead attorney, Steve Finney, from the case because he prosecuted Azotea in another case years ago.

Back in January, Azotea tried to escape from Carter County jail.  Last month, he was transferred from the Carter County jail to a maximum security prison in Nashville.

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