A 24-year-old Tennessee man was sentenced to life in prison on Feb. 28 for a murder that took place in Chattanooga in March 2017. The sentence was handed down after a Hamilton County jury found the man guilty of felony murder, premeditated murder in the first degree, and aggravated robbery. The sentences for the two homicide counts will be served concurrently. He is scheduled to be sentenced on the aggravated robbery charge in April, and he will not be eligible for parole for at least 51 years.
During the trial, the prosecutor told the jury that the man and an accomplice visited the 19-year-old victim’s Oak Tree Drive residence because he had failed to deliver marijuana they had paid $960 for. Witnesses say that about 15 shots were fired shortly after the two men arrived. Paramedics rushed the badly injured victim to a nearby hospital, but he died shortly after being admitted.
Police identified the two men after speaking with witnesses. The victim is also said to have made a statement before he passed away. The men fled the scene after the shooting, but police took them both into custody within days. The accomplice was apprehended within 24 hours of the shooting, and the 24-year-old was captured the following day. Police say that they learned of his whereabouts after placing his name on a most wanted list.
This case shows how severe the penalties for committing violent crimes like murder can be. However, prosecutors may agree to reduce them if defendants are willing to forgo a jury trial and plead guilty. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may recommend accepting such an offer if the chances of an acquittal seem slim.