Smith has no chance at parole with the plea deal, according to WATE news. He can get reduction credits, but must serve 85 percent of his 45 year sentence.
According to WATE, Sheriff David Ray said that according to the evidence, Smith killed Fuson in a robbery attempt.
Smith was originally charged with first degree murder. He was arrested in April 2011 and held on a $1 million bond.
Smith previously served time in the Bell County Detention Center for charges including: criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, receiving stolen property, contempt of court, libel/slander, resistance to order, and several charges of non-support and flagrant non-support.
Smith worked in Middlesboro several years ago at Quick Lube and Mountain Tarp and Awning.
The Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the District’s Attorney’s Office all worked together in making the arrest. The team interviewed of 50 people in an attempt to narrow the scope of the investigation.
Fuson, 66 of Harrogate, Tenn., was discovered murdered on January 25, 2011, in “The Old Drug Store” in Cumberland Gap, which he owned. Fuson’s wife discovered his body lying unconscious in a puddle of blood on the floor. Fuson had received several blows to the head.
Fuson was profiled in a Channel 10 piece as the ring leader of the “Whiz Bangers,” a group of baby boomers who rode motorized bicycles called “Whizzers”.
In the article, Fuson dubbed himself “Moon Dog”, replacing the nickname of his youth, “Wolfman”. He chose the name, he said, because now that he was older, “all I can do is sit on the porch and howl at the moon.”
Fuson sold the bikes at his store, along with ice cream, homemade fudge, other treats and a variety of antiques.
The murder investigation was a joint effort conducted by the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Cumberland Gap Police Department, the United States Marshal’s Service, the National Park Service, the Eight Judicial District Drug Task Force, and the Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Also assisting with the investigation was the Middlesboro Police Department, Bell County Sheriff’s Office, and the Knox County, Tenn. Sheriff’s Office.