Sheriff: McMinn County man accused of wife’s murder arrested in Georgia

ATHENS, Tenn. (WATE) – A McMinn County man has been extradited from Georgia back to Tennessee to face charges in connection with the death of his wife last month.

James Coy Johnson faces charges including first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Debbie Johnson.

On May 30, deputies responded to a home on County Road 312 near Sweetwater after she failed to show up for work that day. She was found dead on the porch with an apparent gunshot wound.

McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy said in a news release that neighbors heard a gunshot as Johnson left the residence. The guy said no shooting was reported because neighbors said it was a common occurrence at his house.

License plate readers indicated that Johnson had traveled to Georgia. He was arrested on June 4 by the police in West Point on charges including: driving under the influence.

The release states that Johnson was arrested in 2023 on charges of assault and resisting arrest following a domestic incident involving his wife. He pleaded guilty to assault and was given a two-year suspended prison sentence.

“Tragic domestic violence incidents like this touch every community,” added Detective Sgt. Jared Price. “We hope that anyone affected by or a victim of domestic violence will reach out to local law enforcement for help or referral to support agencies.”

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit their website at