Knoxville man lived in apartment with corpse for days

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A homeless man has been charged after he admitted to living in a Knoxville apartment with a dead man for days.

According to the arrest warrant, James O’Brien, 68, had been staying in an apartment with Clarence Stephens, III, when Stephens died in his bed on April 21.

Six days later, a complaint about a “foul smell” alerted authorities to what happened.

O’Brien told investigators that he had hit Stephens in the throat and laid him down on a bed.  He said Stephens never woke up.

O’Brien said he covered Stephens with blankets and clothes and opened a window because of the smell, but he never told anyone.

An autopsy did not indicate that O’Brien caused Stephens death.

O’Brien is charged with abuse of a corpse.

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