23-year-old accused of beating man to death with metal bat

Kenneth Smith

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A Knox County man is accused of beating another man to death with an aluminum baseball bat.

Kenneth Smith, 23, was originally charged with attempted second degree murder.

According to a booking report, Smith got into an argument with Johnathan Lee Hackler at a home on Tazewell Pike just after 11 p.m. Friday night.

Police say both then obtained bats and got into a fight.

Hackler was found to be suffering from severe trauma to his head area. He was taken to UT Medical Center for treatment where hospital officials say he later died.

The report says Smith admitted his actions in an interview with an officer.

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