|Kingsport Police Department
Dale Phipps, Chief of Police
200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660
|SUBJECT:||Suspect Arrested for Murder and Arson following Joint Investigation into Westmoreland Avenue House Fire|
|DATE:||March 14, 2023|
|On March 11, 2023 just before 6:00 pm, first responders from both the Kingsport Fire and Police Departments responded to a residence in the 2400 block of Westmoreland Avenue in Kingsport in reference to a structure fire. Upon arrival, the home was found to be fully involved. During the fire attack and subsequent search, K.F.D. Firefighters discovered and recovered a deceased adult female victim, who was later identified as Martha A. Dozier (65 years of age of the residence).
The decedent was sent to the William L. Jenkins Forensic Center of the E.T.S.U. James H. Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City for a forensic autopsy.
Thus began an extensive joint investigation into both the death and the fire by the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division and the K.F.D. Fire Marshal’s Office. The fire was almost immediately deemed suspicious in nature. Early in the investigation, suspicions were raised when it was learned that Ms. Dozier’s daughter, Joie T. Dawes (43 years of age of Kingsport), had just left the residence within moments of the outbreak of the fire.
After considerable further investigation, to include a thorough processing of the scene and a subsequent interview with Ms. Dawes, investigators were able to establish probable cause to determine that Ms. Dawes was responsible for both the intentional death of her mother and the deliberate setting of the fire that followed. She has since been arrested and charged with the following:
She has been booked into the Kingsport City Jail and is scheduled to be transferred to the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville, where she will remain confined pending arraignment.
The associated joint investigation remains active and ongoing. As such, and in the interest of future prosecution, absolutely no further details, to include cause of death or possible motive, can or will be released at this time.
|Name||Joie T. Dawes|
|Age||43 Years of Age|
|Charge(s)||· First Degree Murder
· Aggravated Arson
· Tampering with Evidence
|Name||Martha A. Dozier|
|Age||65 Years of Age|
|Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer
Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit
423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)