Officers were initially told that Stocks had suffered an injury after she fell and struck her head, causing the head trauma, facial swelling and bleeding from the nose she was suffering, authorities said.
Police determined during questioning that Terrick Thorne had been arguing with the victim about tax return money. Thorne was Stocks' ex-boyfriend and the father of her child.
Thorne admitted to shooting Stocks, but told police it was accidental, the Chattanoogan reported.
Detectives determined Thorne had purchased a .380 caliber firearm hours before the shooting, and a .380 caliber shell casing was found at the scene, according to the publication.
Investigators searched Thorne’s residence and found the victim’s cell phone, debit cards, iPad and Apple watch in the garage as well as a Glock .380 pistol at the residence.
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Thorne was prohibited from possessing a gun due to a prior domestic assault conviction involving Stocks.
On Oct. 2, Thorne pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder and the unlawful possession of a firearm charge was dismissed, officials said.
Criminal County Judge Amanda Dunn sentenced Thorne to 35 years in state prison.
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