Rockwood, Tennessee Man Charged in Drug-Related Death of Girlfriend

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, TN – A joint investigation by special agents with the Drug Investigation Division of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office has resulted in the indictment of a Roane County man, in connection to the drug-related death of a Rockwood woman.

In January 2022, TBI drug agents joined deputies in investigating the death of Ashley Nichole Cressel (DOB 10/29/1991), who was found unresponsive at her workplace in Cumberland County in August 2021.

She was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced deceased. It was later determined she died from acute Methamphetamine toxicity.

During the course of the investigation, agents developed information that identified the victim’s then-boyfriend Michael Kerley as the individual who provided her the drugs.

On Monday, January 8th, the Cumberland County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Michael Paul Kerley (DOB 10/18/1988) with:

  • One count of Second Degree Murder
  • One count of Manufacture, Sale, Delivery of Schedule II Narcotics

Kerley was arrested by the Sheriff’s Office and booked into the Cumberland County Jail on a $500,000 bond.


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