Family of woman killed concerned after suspect makes bond

MCMINN COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — Family members of a woman who was shot and killed last week, are upset the man suspected in her death is out on bond.

Kathleen McKee lived off County Road 652 in McMinn County. Her brother says she was kind.

“She was a gentle soul. She was a very funny person. She was very crafty,” Robert McKee said.

He says his family was stunned when police told them Kathleen had been shot and killed last Thursday night.

“When someone passes it is hard enough. You can take natural causes in some way and even an automobile accident, as an accident. But this is no accident. This is a person that shot her,” Robert McKee said.

Investigators say before her death, Kathleen McKee called police for help and to report an argument with her landlord. When they arrived she was found dead with a gunshot wound.

Her landlord Charles Ward was charged with first degree murder. He was taken into custody, but released on Saturday when he made his $200,000 bond.

“That just seems like a heck of a low price for someone’s life,” Robert McKee said.

Prosecutors not involved with the case say it is not uncommon for someone with this charge to make bond.

Family members wish that wasn’t the case.

“You know to me it seems pretty cut and dry, but I guess the system is the system and he is out enjoying his freedom while we are going through the process of arranging her memorial service,” Robert McKee said.

Kathleen McKee’s memorial service will be on Saturday, July 28, in Riceville.

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