Tina Marie Luster was charged in the brutal murder of Regilla Ann Stacy, who was found dead in her rural Hawkins County, Tennessee home nearly eight years ago, police said.
Luster, 46, of Kingsport was indicted Monday, April 19, 2021, and charged with one count of first-degree murder, according to a statement from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Stacy, 48, was found dead in her Mountain View School Road in the Goshen Valley August 5, 2013, beaten and shot to death. TBI and the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office had been actively investigating her case since then. Stacy was known to friends and family as Jill, police said.
Luster was indicted by a Hawkins County Grand Jury and arrested Tuesday, April 20, 2021. She was booked into the Hawkins County Jail on a $150,000 bond, the statement said.
Here’s what you need to know:
Police Described Luster as an ‘Acquaintance’ of Stacy, Who Was Beaten & Shot Multiple Times
Law enforcement released few details immediately about the relationship between Luster and Stacy or the circumstances that led to her arrest. They described the victim as an “acquaintance” of the suspect and Luster as “the individual responsible for her death.”
Police also released very little information immediately on how Stacy was developed as a suspect, saying only that “authorities developed information leading to Tina Marie Luster” over the course of the investigation. They did not release a motive in the case.
TBI and the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office thanked other agencies that assisted them in their lengthy investigation.
“The TBI and Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office were assisted by a number of agencies during the investigation. They include the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Kingsport Police Department, the Church Hill Police Department, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee Board of Parole, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” the statement said.
Stacy was shot multiple times and also suffered blunt force trauma injuries, according to WJHL.
Stacy’s Family Held Out Hope That They Would One Day Receive Answers in Her Murder Case
Stacy’s family spoke to WJHL as the fifth anniversary of her murder approached, and said they were still holding out hope for justice. Stacy’s daughter, Kaisha Hickey, said her mom was always on her mind.
“Time has made it a little easier, but obviously never forget. It’s a thought every single day,” she said.
After five years, she said she had very little information on what happened to her mother.
“We don’t know anything more than we did the day that it happened,” she said.
Hickey got a tattoo on her arm in her mother’s favorite color, purple, which shows birds “flying up to heaven as if her soul is kind of releasing,” she said.
Stacy’s mom, Georgia Dye, said she prayed one day someone would come forward and that she would have closure.
“I would just like to have closure on it, you know, and I don’t know if we ever will or not, but I just pray one day that somebody will come forth,” Dye told WJHL.
Law Enforcement Said Stacy Was a Mother & Grandmother Who Was a Beloved Member of Her Family
TBI put out an alert to the public in 2020, asking for anyone with information to come forward.
“She was a grandmother, she was a mother. People loved her, and that’s why we do this job is to try to bring them some closure,” Special Agent Blake Ketron said at the time.
Police said Stacy’s murder occurred in a rural, secluded area at her small farm, where there were no witnesses to the grisly slaying. Stacy lived with her ex-husband, who found her body after returning home from an appointment in Greeneville and called 911. There was no forced entry into the home, which led authorities to believe Stacy knew her killer.
“After so much time, you know, the sadness starts to fade away, and now we’re more angry – angry at the fact that we don’t have justice, angry at the fact that we don’t know,” Hickey said in 2020.
She said she believed her mom’s killer was still in the area, and urged the public to come forward, saying the murderer could strike again.
“It’s been seven years, seven long years. It was a very brutal, brutal incident,” she said.
“It could happen to anybody,” she added. “You could be the next person. Anybody could be the next person. Your mother could be the next person, your daughter, your brother, anybody. This person has to be caught. They have to be off the streets.”