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BREAKING: Johnson Road Murder and Arson Defendant Admits to Murder and Decapitation of Corpse

UPDATE: 8:20 p.m., Thursday, February 10th.

TBI has identified the victim as William Jack Ferguson (d.o.b. 2/25/85).


Buddy Small, of Linden, was arrested in connection with the Johnson Road fire. Photo provided by TBI

Buddy Small, of Linden, was arrested in connection with the Johnson Road fire.
Photo provided by TBI.    The defendant in the Johnson Road murder and arson, Buddy Ray Small, made a  confession to shooting and then decapitating the male victim.

Per the affidavit, witnesses were present as Small used a Winchester 30.06 rifle to shoot the male, identified at this time as John Doe.  The information goes on to relate that the trailer, containing the decapitated victim, was then torched, and the body found during the firefighting efforts.   The remainder of the victim was later found in a brush pile, about five hundred yards behind the trailer.

Update:  7: 15 p.m., Wednesday, February 8th:

According to a release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation:

An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Linden man on charges of murder and arson related to a fatal fire this week in Lexington.

At the request of 26th District Attorney General Jerry Woodall, TBI Special Agents joined agents with Tennessee Fire Investigative Services, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and the Henderson County Fire Department in investigating a residential structure fire Tuesday in Lexington. When first responders entered the residence at 95 Johnson Road, they discovered the body of an adult male inside.  The identity of the victim is pending autopsy results. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that led them to Buddy Ray Small as the individual responsible for the homicide and arson.

On Wednesday, TBI Special Agents arrested Small (DOB 7/30/1980) and charged him with one count of First Degree Murder, one count of Arson and one count of Abuse of a Corpse. He was booked into the Henderson County Jail, where he is currently being held without bond.


Update:  12:27 p.m., Wednesday, February 8th:

As of Wednesday, the area of the Tuesday (February 7th) morning mobile home fire, on Johnson Road, near the junction of Franklin Store Road, is still blocked off by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department.

Susan Niland, with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, responded to an inquiry from The Lexington Progress with this statement:  “This scene remains an active and ongoing investigation, so we’re not able to provide a lot of details at this stage.  The victim has not yet been identified pending autopsy results.  And the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.”


Continue to check this site for updates.

For the complete story and more, see the February 15th edition of The Lexington Progress.

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