Man sentenced for brutal slayings, dismemberment of parents

November 23, 2020

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (COURT TV) 10/2/20:

Joel Guy was sentenced to two consecutive life terms following his conviction for the 2018 murders and dismemberments of his parents.

 Judge Sword said in court the crimes were “pure evil overkill,” WBIR-TV reports. Reportedly, he told Guy that he’s not as smart as he thinks he is and then told him that it (Guy) appeared during the trial, that Guy was proud of what he had done.

 

UPDATED 10/2/20: A jury found Joel Michael Guy Jr. guilty on all 7 counts in the murder & dismemberment of his parents, Joel Guy Sr. & Lisa Guy. He was sentenced to life in prison for 2 counts of first-degree premeditated murder, 1 count of felony murder for killing Lisa Guy while committing first-degree murder of Joel Guy Sr., and 2 counts of felony murder while committing theft. Court will be back in session on Nov. 19 for sentencing on counts 6 & 7; abuse of a corpse.

 

ORIGINAL STORY 9/28/20

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (Court TV) – A man accused in the gruesome murders of his mother and father will finally stand trial four years after the crime.

32-year-old Joel Michael Guy Jr. allegedly murdered his parents Thanksgiving weekend in 2016 while visiting from Baton Rouge, La. Guy Jr., a 28-year-old college dropout at the time, reportedly became irate when his parents said they were going to financially cut him off.

Investigators say Guy Jr. stabbed 61-year-old Joel Guy Sr. and 55-year-old Lisa Guy to death before dismembering their bodies. The couple’s remains were found spread throughout their Knox County home when authorities performed a welfare check that following Monday.

Joel Michael Guy Jr./Knox County Sheriff’s Office

Lisa Guy’s head was reportedly found boiling in a pot, while Guy Sr.’s hands were found in their bedroom. Their torsos were reportedly found inside plastic containers in a bathroom. Guy Jr. had “placed portions of the remains in an acid based solution in an attempt to destroy evidence,” according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities identified Guy Jr. as a suspect with the aid of Walmart surveillance video that appears to show him “purchasing items located within the residence that were apparently used in the attempted destruction of the crime scene,” according to an affidavit.

The defendant was arrested that Tuesday outside his apartment in Baton Rouge. He is facing multiple charges, including two counts of premeditated first-degree murder.

DAY 1:

  • In prosecution opening, Knox County Assistant District Attorney General Leslie Nassios reveals incriminating excerpts from a notebook found in the defendant’s guest room that read like a to-do list for murder
  • Defense lawyer John Halstead delivers opening in under two minutes, asking jurors to listen for reasonable doubt and thanking them for their service in this “difficult time”
  • The jury sees photos and video of crime scene walk-through with body parts blurred out, including a covered stockpot with Lisa Guy’s head inside
  • Joel Guy’s daughters from a prior marriage and his sisters give emotional testimony about how the victims were looking forward to retiring, which also meant ending their financial support of their adult son

DAY 2: 

  • Crime scene technician walks jurors through evidence that corresponds with the to-do list found in a notebook in a backpack in the guest room where the defendant stayed
  • Jurors see security video of the defendant at the same Walmart where his mother was caught on camera three hours earlier shopping for groceries that investigators found in foyer
  • Video captured at a Baton Rouge Walmart five days before the alleged murders shows the defendant purchasing blue containers that prosecutors say he used to submerge his parents’ body parts in corrosive liquid
  • The forensic examiner says Joel Guy Sr.’s phone received text alerts for credit card charges day after his murder from LSU, where the defendant was a non-matriculated graduate student, speaking to the felony murder by theft charges
  • The lead case detective struggles for composure as he describes how the smells and sights of the crime scene still “haunt his dreams”
  • The jury sees a stockpot, containers that held bodies

DAY 3: 

  • Jurors in Joel Michael Guy Jr.’s double-murder trial heard from his former roommate and longtime friend Michael McCracken about the defendant’s estranged relationship with his family
  • In a Dec. 2016 jail phone call between the defendant and McCracken, defendant gets choked up about his circumstances
  • Medical examiner walks jury through sanitized (but chilling nonetheless) edit of autopsy photos showing sharp force injuries to their torsos
  • Jury sees surveillance video from 5 different hardware/home stores allegedly showing the defendant purchasing items used in the crimes, including blue plastic tubs in which his parents’ bodies were soaking

DAY 4:

  • State rests Thursday morning after calling 26 witnesses, including two on Thursday
  • Defense rests after entering stipulation into record about defendant’s lack of criminal record
  • Both sides deliver closing arguments
  • Jury calls it quits after two hours of deliberations, asks to return Friday

DAY 5: 

  • A jury found Joel Michael Guy Jr. guilty on all 7 counts.
  • He was sentenced to life in prison for 2 counts of first-degree premeditated murder, 1 count of felony murder for killing Lisa Guy while committing first-degree murder of Joel Guy Sr., and 2 counts of felony murder while committing theft.
  • Court will be back in session on Nov. 19 for sentencing on counts 6 & 7; abuse of a corpse.

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