Pyles sentenced after pleading guilty to Dowdy double murder

Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:10 am


Josh Pyles.psd

A Wayne County, Kentucky man who has been incarcerated on charges of double murder since August, 2014, has plead guilty to both killings and will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Joshua Clay Pyles, 37, of Monticello, was charged with the double murder of two business owners, Danny Dowdy and his son Cody Dowdy at the bar and package store they owned and operated in Static, Tennessee.

Pyles was charged with entering the Sugar Shack, a well known establishment located just a few yards across the Clinton County line in Static, Tennessee, on July 20, 2014, then shooting to death the two men before robbing the cash register of what was estimated to have been about $400.

For nearly three years since that double murder at closing time inside the Sugar Shack, the case has seen Pyles enter pleas of not guilty, been taken in front of a Pickett County Grand Jury and make its way through various levels of the Tennessee Court system, all the while as Pyles remained behind bars.

Last Friday, in the Putnam County, Tennessee Criminal Courtroom of Judge David Patterson, Pyles plead guilty to two counts of premeditated murder of the two men.

During the procedure, Pyles also pled guilty to a single count of especially aggravated robbery involving the taking of cash from the register.

At Friday’s procedure, Pyles was sentenced to serve a total of 69 years behind bars.

That sentence includes 51 years in prison for the double-murder of the Dowdys, and an additional 18 years behind bars for the robbery conviction.

Pyles, who has been incarcerated since his arrest in 2014 the day after the murders, would be over 100 years old before he would be eligible for parole.

At the time of their murder, Danny was 58-years old and his son, Cody, was 22 years old.

During the initial investigation that began just hours after the fatal shootings, law enforcement officers from the Pickett County Sheriff’s Department were first on the scene at the Sugar Shack, and they were soon joined by teams of officers and investigators from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations.

The investigation also involved the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department as well as the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, as leads were being followed in search of a suspect in the killings.

In the first hours of the investigation, a TBI spokesperson, Josh DeVine, told the Clinton County News that the Sugar Shack building was equipped with video cameras.

“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 told the Clinton County News in 2014.

Apparently, that equipment was functional and did provide helpful information in the case that was built against Pyles.

In an article that appeared in Sunday’s Cookeville Herald Citizen by staff writer Lindsay McReynolds, it was noted that during Friday’s hearing, a TBI Special Agent read excerpts from a confession statement that Pyles had given to the agency on July 31, 2014, the day after the two men were killed.

It was noted that details about the chain of events on the night of the murder, were in fact corroborated through the viewing of a surveillance video.

Information from that confession read last week, according to McReynolds’ article, said that Pyles entered the bar at about 4:00 p.m. that day, and stayed until about 11:00 p.m., when the establishment was empty of other customers.

He said he went back to his truck, changed shirts and went back into the bar, asking Danny Dowdy for a beer when he panicked and shot him, then shooting Cody Dowdy.

Pyles’ confession also stated that he also shot each victim a second time “so they wouldn’t suffer”, then took money from the cash register before leaving the bar and returning back to Wayne County.

Pyles’ motive for the robbery was apparently related to his young son being sick at the time and his son’s mother crying about the situation.

According to the confession statement, Pyles later threw the money over a bridge into the lake, after his son’s mother refused to take it from him.

At the time of his arrest, TBI spokesperson Devine told the Clinton County News that Pyles had been served with two warrants charging him with the double-murders and that he had been arrested without incident.

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

The Sugar Shack has remained closed since the double murder occurred, nearly three years ago.