published Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Sequatchie man held in killing

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    Thomas Bryan Bettis, 35, is charged with felony murder, especially aggravated robbery and setting fire to personal property in connection with the death of Clifford M. Carden, according to the sheriff's office.

The Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office has charged Thomas Bryan Bettis, of Sequatchie, Tenn., in the death of Clifford M. Carden Jr.

Bettis, 35, was charged Tuesday with felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, and setting fire to personal property, according to a release from the sheriff's office. His girlfriend, Susan Lynette Baker, 35, of Graysville, Tenn., faces the same charges.

Bettis is in custody and is being held without bond, the release said.

Carden's body was found Thursday in the Sequatchie River by a man who was collecting cans along East Valley Road, Hitchcock said.

Carden, 55, of 560 New Harmony Road, in Graysville, had suffered trauma to his head before his body was dumped into the water under Pickett's Bridge, Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock said during a news conference Friday.

Carden's car, a 1996 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, was discovered about 7 a.m. CST on Thursday on Old Union Loop, about 10 miles away from where his body was discovered.

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