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Bledsoe Co. man accused of killing mother, daughter makes first court appearance

Investigators say Joe Whittenburg killed 46-year-old Deanna Lawrence (left) and 24-year-old Dedra Lawrence (right) inside a home on Sawmill Road. (Images: Lawrence Family)

The man police say brutally killed a mother and daughter early Friday morning at a home in Pikeville made his first court appearance on Monday.

Investigators say Joe Whittenburg killed 46-year-old Deanna Lawrence (the mother) and 24-year-old Dedra Lawrence (the daughter) inside a home on Sawmill Road.

Whittenburg was inside the home unconscious when police arrived, and was rushed to the hospital, where he was later charged.

In court on Monday, a judge appointed a public defender for Whittenburg.

The judge did not award Whittenburg bond, saying that would be decided later this week.

The judge also said he recognized Whittenburg from a previous case, saying he represented him in a custody case in another county.

The judge says that means there "could be a conflict," and said that will be discussed at the next court date.

Depend on us to keep you posted.

Funeral services for Deanna and Dedra Lawrence got underway on Monday at Putnam-Standefer-Reed Funeral Home in Dunlap.

Below are their obituaries listed on the funeral home's website:

Dedra Lee Lawrence, age 24, of Dunlap, TN, passed away Thursday, November 30, 2017, with her mother, Deanna Lawrence. She attended Ewtonville Baptist Church.
She is survived by her father, Mario Edward Lawrence Sr., of Dunlap; brother, Mario Edward Lawrence Jr., of Dunlap; grandmother, Annette Narramore, of Dunlap; grandfather, Robert Harvey; several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Services will be held Monday, December 4, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. CST in the funeral home chapel with Bro. Brian Kearns officiating. Burial will be in the Chapel Hill Cemetery. Online condolences can be made at www.reedfamilyfh.com. Arrangements by Standefer-Reed Funeral Home, 50 May Road, Dunlap. Family will receive friends Sunday 1:00-8:00 p.m. CST.
Deanna Lee Lawrence, age 46, of Dunlap, TN, passed away Thursday, November 30, 2017, with her daughter, Dedra Lawrence. She attended Lee Station Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Ruby Price; brother, Jimmy Joe Narramore; adoptive mother, Joetta Narramore.
She is survived by her son, Mario Lawrence, Jr., Dunlap; birth mother, Betty Narramore, Dothan, AL; special friend, Jeffery Seals; adoptive father, Robert (Anna) Harvey, Dunlap; sisters, Martha (Alan) Barker, Dunlap, and Dawn Clark; sister-in-law, Lawana Narramore; nieces, Misty (Andy) Norman, Dunlap, Natasha Stoner, Memphis, and Destiny (Michael) McDaniel, Dunlap; nephew, Brian (Dedra) Powell, Dunlap.
Memorial services will be held Monday, December 4, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. CST in the funeral home chapel with Rev. Terry Barker officiating. Online condolences can be made at www.reedfamilyfh.com. Arrangements by Standefer-Reed Funeral Home, 50 May Road, Dunlap. Family will receive friends Sunday 1:00-8:00 p.m. CST.


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