Double-murder at the Sugar Shack

Posted August 6, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Two area businessmen with several ties to Albany and Clinton County, were killed last week inside their business just across the state line at Static.

A Wayne County man has been arrested and charged in the double murder.

Early Thursday morning, authorities were called to the scene of the Sugar Shack package store in Static, Tennessee and found the bodies of owners Danny Dowdy, 58, and his son, Cody Dowdy, 22.

Although the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has yet to release the cause of death for the two victims, several friends and family members at the scene early Thursday morning, confirmed to the Clinton County News that both men had been shot.

During the investigation later in the day, officers with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, marked the location of shell casings on the outside of the building.

The Sugar Shack is located at Static, Tennessee, just a few yards across the Kentucky Tennessee border in neighboring Pickett County, Tennessee.

The scene of the double-murder was a solemn one early Thursday morning, as friends, family and others gathered around the area, watching the beginning of the investigation from outside the perimeter area of the surrounding parking lot that had been cordoned off with yellow “crime scene” tape put in place by the Pickett County Sheriff’s office.

Two vehicles, a white utility truck and a Suzuki SUV, were parked near a side entrance to the package store. One family member confirmed to the Clinton County News that the vehicles belonged to the victims.

With the Pickett County Sheriff’s Department and the Pickett County EMS on the scene early that day, several officers with the TBI arrived shortly after 8:00 a.m., followed by the arrival of a Tennessee Homeland Security mobile crime lab and later an additional mobile crime lab from TBI.

Investigating officers continued to arrive throughout the morning, and at one point, the crowd of witnesses, many of whom were family members, gathered underneath a large, white tent that had been put in place to shade them from the hot sun.

As the investigation continued throughout the day, the TBI also began working with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, continuing to look into leads surrounding the case

Early Friday morning, according to TBI spokesman Josh DeVine, agents served Joshua Clay Pyles, 34, of Wayne County, with two warrants charging him with two counts of First Degree Murder.

According to the press release issued by DeVine, Pyles was arrested without incident and continues to be held in the Pickett County Jail without bond.

The Sugar Shack building apparently did have video surveillance equipment, and while authorities did say that the video equipment was in place, there was no actual indication as to just how effective it was in the eventual arrest.

“The building does have surveillance video, as we understand. We are currently working to see, however, if that will wield any evidence that might help in this investigation,” DeVine said in a report given to a Nashville television station.

DeVine declined to give a specific motive for the shooting, but did note in an email statement to the Clinton County News that at this point in the investigation, Pyles is the only suspect.

“At this point, I’ve not heard of reason to believe other subjects may be involved,” DeVine said.

He added that authorities were planning to wait on forensic analysis before releasing information as to an exact cause of death for the victims.

The Sugar Shack has been owned by the Dowdy family for several years, but was not always located in the exact spot where it is now.

The recent construction of U.S. 127 in the area saw the facility forced to be moved from the location where it had formerly been situated near the junction of U.S. 127 and Tennessee Hwy. 111.

Currently, the facility sits near where the former Gold Dust Saloon was located before it was destroyed by fire several years ago.

The victims were well known in the area, on both sides of the state line, and several family members currently reside in Clinton County.

Complete death notices for Danny Dowdy and Cody Dowdy appear this week on page 8.


A large crowd of people were gathered in Static, Tennessee, in front of the Sugar Shack Thursday morning as officials began investigating the double-murders of Sugar Shack owners Danny Dowdy and his son Cody Dowdy. A Wayne County man, Josh Pyles, was later arrested and charged with two counts of First Degree Murder.


Pickett County authorities guarded the scene of a double-murder Thursday morning at the Sugar Shack package store in Static, Tennessee, just across the Pickett County and Clinton County boundary. The scene was being protected while local authorities awaited the arrival of investigating officers from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).


Danny Dowdy


Cody Dowdy

Josh PylesG.psd

Josh Pyle