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Tennessee Man Accused Of Murder After Body Found Inside Minivan He Crashed During High-Speed Police Chase

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Source: Knox County Sheriff; UNSPLASH

Apr. 5 2022, Published 2:26 p.m. ET

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A murder suspect in Tennessee was taken into custody after he crashed his minivan during a high-speed chase with officers who then found the body of a man inside the vehicle, authorities said.

On the afternoon of March 31, Knoxville police filed a missing person's report on 27-year-old Justin Goins, WVLT reported.

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According to witnesses, Goins’ vehicle was parked behind a residence along with a maroon Chrysler minivan, police said.

The witnesses told police when they attempted to go toward the minivan, the suspect, later identified as Darius Smith, 25, fled the scene in a third vehicle.

Goins’ vehicle then disappeared from the property but was eventually found a short distance away. “The victim’s car had been thoroughly cleaned with a chemical cleaner, but a small amount of blood was found in the cupholder of the victim’s vehicle," Knoxville Police Department spokesman Scott Erland said.

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Around 3:15 p.m. the following afternoon, April 1, police located the minivan and attempted to pull it over after the driver committed a traffic violation.

Cops later confirmed the driver was Smith and said he attempted to flee authorities on foot after he smashed the vehicle into a tree following a high-speed chase.

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Officers were able to apprehend the suspect as he attempted to hide under a bed inside a home near the crash scene, court documents obtained by Knox News show.

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Officers obtained a search warrant for Smith’s minivan and discovered Goins’ body in the back.

Police said the victim, who was shot six times, died from his wounds.

Smith faces charges of first-degree murder as well as felony evading arrest and reckless driving. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bond, jail records show.

Court documents state the victim’s ex-girlfriend was in a relationship with Smith and investigators learned there may have been threats made, according to Knox News.

body found
Source: Knox County Sheriff; UNSPLASH
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