Convicted killer says he saw Asheville teen murdered
Zebb Quinn’s body has not been found in 22 years since disappearance
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - More than 22 years after an Asheville teenager disappeared, a man convicted in another couple’s killing has admitted to knowledge about his murder.
Zebb Quinn went missing in January 2000 and was last seen leaving the Walmart in Asheville where he worked. He was 18 years old at the time.
In 2017, Robert Jason Owens was indicted on a murder charge in connection with Quinn’s disappearance. Quinn’s body has never been found.
Owens pleaded guilty on Monday to accessory after the fact to murder. In written statements released by the Buncombe County District Attorney, Owens says he saw a family member shoot and kill Quinn with a .22 rifle.
The family member Owens named is now dead.
State's Exhibit 1 in State v. Robert Jason Owens: pic.twitter.com/nPtli4JazR— Buncombe County DA (@BuncombeCoDA) July 25, 2022
Owens says he was there when the relative burned Quinn’s body and dumped the ashes in the woods near Owens Cove Road and Bent Creek. Investigators searched the area, but never found any remains or evidence to corroborate Owens’ statements.
However, the District Attorney said Owens’ plea is supported by other non-circumstantial evidence obtained by investigators and was discussed extensively with Quinn’s family, who approved of it.
For the first time, District Attorney Todd Williams said the development legally establishes that Quinn was murdered.
“Zebb Quinn would have been 41 this year,” Williams said. “It was always the hope of investigators and the DA’s Office that more facts and details would be uncovered... While we may never know the full truth these many years after Zebb’s disappearance, my sympathies are with the family and all who have suffered as a result.”
Statement of DA Todd Williams in regard to today's State v. Owens conviction.@asheville @WLOS_13 @Ashevegas @AshevilleNews pic.twitter.com/qMQLpJ6xKA— Buncombe County DA (@BuncombeCoDA) July 25, 2022
Owens was sentenced to 150 to 189 months in prison, which runs concurrently with the 60 to 75 year sentence he is currently serving for the 2015 slayings of JT and Cristie Codd.
Cristie Codd, a contestant on season eight of ‘The Next Food Network Star,’ was five months pregnant with a baby they named Skylar.
The couple was reported missing from their home on Hookers Gap Road in Leicester, where Owens did handyman work. Their remains were later found in a dumpster and a wood-burning stove.
Prosecutors originally wanted to pursue the death penalty against Owens. In a plea agreement, Owens admitted he killed the Codds but said he accidentally ran them over with his truck and then destroyed their bodies.
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