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Sullivan County man charged with murdering mother of three

LaKeesha Neece, 27, who was found dead in her home January 18. (WCYB)

A Sullivan County man has been arrested and charged with the first degree murder of his wife.

Deputies said 30-year-old Randall Neece attempted to smother his wife with a shower curtain, then strangled her with an electrical cord.

Neighbors reported hearing gunshots before deputies arrived and arrested Randall Neece. The gunshots have not been explained, but deputies confirmed that they found a 9 millimeter pistol.

For friends and neighbors, who asked not to be identified, the crime came as a shock. One woman who knew Lakeesha 10 years said she messaged to LaKeesha on Snapchat the day she died.

"We were just using some of the filters just to make each other laugh, and we talked to each other every day," she said.

One woman who has lived in the trailer park 14 years said nothing like this has ever happened before in the park.

"Sheriff's department had told us that this is the quiet park,” she said. “They'd been on the roads next to us on either side, but this is the one they didn't know much about, which kind of made me proud that they hadn't been on our road."

Friends said LaKeesha was a kind woman.

"She was a very loving person, very kind,” one friend said. “She was kind to everybody she met. She never turned anybody away if they ever needed help with anything."

A neighbor said she heard the couple arguing and shouting several times.

"I could hear them arguing and fighting a lot,” she said. “Trailers are thin."

One daughter was living with them, but Sheriff Wayne Anderson said Randall Neece took her to a relative's house before returning to kill his wife.

"Yes I do,” Anderson said when asked if he thought Randall Neece removed the child in anticipation of murder. “I think that's what was on his mind. I think he had it on his mind to do that, but he didn't want the child there when it happened."

LaKeesha Neece is survived by three children.

Randall Neece is being held in Sullivan County Jail on a $250,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court January 25.

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