A 43-year-old Tennessee woman with a lengthy rap sheet in recent years is accused of murdering her own mother and setting the victim’s house on fire just one year after racking up a probation violation.
Joie T. Dawes allegedly murdered Martha A. Dozier, 65, and set her Kingsport home ablaze on Saturday night — leaving the deceased woman’s body for responding firefighters to find.
“On March 11, 2023 just before 6:00 pm, first responders from both the Kingsport Fire and Police Departments responded to a residence in the 2400 block of Westmoreland Avenue in Kingsport in reference to a structure fire,” according to the Kingsport Police Department. “Upon arrival, the home was found to be fully involved. During the fire attack and subsequent search, K.F.D. Firefighters discovered and recovered a deceased adult female victim, who was later identified as Martha A. Dozier (65 years of age of the residence).”
Authorities said that a forensic autopsy would occur in Johnson City, at the William L. Jenkins Forensic Center. Police did not, however, claimed that the ongoing probe means “absolutely no further details, to include cause of death or possible motive, can or will be released at this time.”
In the meantime, cops have alleged that Dawes was caught exiting the home a matter of moments before the fire spread.
“After considerable further investigation, to include a thorough processing of the scene and a subsequent interview with Ms. Dawes, investigators were able to establish probable cause to determine that Ms. Dawes was responsible for both the intentional death of her mother and the deliberate setting of the fire that followed,” cops said.
Authorities said Dawes was booked in the Kingsport City Jail but will be moved to the Sullivan County Jail pending the first-degree murder, aggravated arson, and tampering with evidence case.
Sullivan County describes itself as a “beautiful and serene area, great for relaxing and also good for business.”
Sullivan County court records reviewed by Law&Crime show that Joie T. Dawes faced multiple criminal cases from 2019 to 2021, ranging in seriousness from burglary and assault to failing to appear in court.
Records show that she pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, burglary of a vehicle, theft, and possession of burglary tools in 2021. She apparently went on to violate her probation in March 2022.
One year later, Dawes’ mother is dead.
The defendant faces another pending matter unrelated to the murder case, stemming from an alleged aggravated assault and vandalism incident on Halloween of 2021. The case was not filed until early 2022 and is listed as “open.”
The city of Kingsport is also contained within Hawkins County. A search of that court database shows Joie Taylor Dawes was charged with especially aggravated burglary and vandalism in July 2020.
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