published Friday, March 8th, 2013

Shannon Ory trial goes to jury today

Shannon Ory
Shannon Ory
Photo by Dan Henry.

Lawyers expect jurors today will receive the case against a man charged with trying to kidnap and kill his ex-wife.

Shannon Ory, 44, claims he's the victim of a set-up, but more than six police officers, his ex-wife and ex-mistress testified against him during the trial that began Tuesday.

Ory, a former TVA engineer originally from Louisiana, began an affair with fellow TVA employee Brandi Thomas in August 2008. By October 2009 Ory had separated from his wife, Kristina Speights.

Speights testified that on Dec. 16, 2009, Ory wore a mask and gloves to beat her up in the driveway of her father's Old Hunter Road home. She said he punched and choked her and slammed her head against the pavement, then tried to drag her beneath her Chevrolet Tahoe and drive over her.

Police later found a wet shirt in Ory's Flag Crest Drive home with Speights' blood on the sleeve.

Later, Ory admitted the beating to his mistress, Thomas testified Wednesday.

Ory's attorney, Ben McGowan, pointed at inconsistencies in Speights' statements to police.

Thomas said she kept dating Ory for about three months but was scared because he threatened her to keep quiet about his confession. She later told police about his admission.

McGowan challenged her testimony with emails and photos.

The week before the trial was to start in November 2011, Ory showed up at Speights' Nashville workplace. She filed stalking charges against him.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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