Chilhowie man to be heard in Tazewell County murder case | Community


A hearing is scheduled for March 30 for one of three people charged in the death of a Tannersville man.

John Austin Fields, 23, of Chilhowie, is charged with murder, conspiracy and malicious wounding.

Fields was scheduled to be heard Feb. 1, but the case was delayed after his attorney had a scheduling conflict.

Fields and Gabriel Peery, 38, of Tannersville, are charged with killing Douglas French, 63, of Tannersville, and injuring Ron Allison in separate incidents in May 2020.

Michelle Mathias, 54, also of Tannersville, is also charged with killing and injuring.

Peery is due in court on March 14 and Mathias is due in court on March 31.

All three face first- and second-degree murder charges in the May 2020 murder of French.

Testimony at the preliminary hearing indicated that the three went to French’s house, where Peery hoped to obtain a log splitter he said belonged to him. A fight ensued and French was later found dead from blunt force trauma.

The trio are blamed for Allison’s malicious injury following a fight at his home in Tannersville. He testified at a preliminary hearing that the three men came to his home and told him they intended to kill him.


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