Knox Co. parents found dissolving in ‘diabolical stew of human remains,' investigators say
The jury was chosen Thursday evening and the trial is expected to last around a week.
KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - The trial for Joel Guy Jr., the man accused of dismembering his parents in a home in the Hardin Valley area of Knox County over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2016, began Monday morning.
WARNING: This case may contain disturbing details.
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Attorney Leslie Nassios revealed new details in the case, including details of the victims' autopsy reports. State prosecutors said this was a crime scene that is a rare percentage of U.S. crime scenes for its graphic nature.
According to Nassios, Joel Guy Sr. had 42 sharp force injuries, so severe that 12 marks were left on his ribs ranging from scratches to complete severing.
Autopsy reports state multiple sharp force injuries caused damage to the lungs, liver and kidneys. The reports state Joel Guy Sr. had a wound to his shoulder so severe, that a fragment of the weapon was left in the muscle tissue.
Joel Guy Sr.'s hands were severed at the wrists, his arms were severed at the shoulder blade, his legs were removed at the hip and his right foot was removed at the ankle, according to court records. Nassios said the evidence showed there was a “fierce struggle," indicating he “fought for his life.”
Officials said Joel Guy Sr. was disrobed after his murder and his clothes were left in a bloody pile.
According to Nassios, Lisa Guy was stabbed 31 times. The stabbing caused 21 severe injuries, severed 9 of her ribs and left several stab wounds to her buttocks. Officials said Lisa Guy’s clothing was cut from her after her murder. Her legs were severed below the knee and her arms were severed at the shoulder.
During the hearing, officials said Lisa Guy’s head was removed from her spine after blunt force trauma was allegedly applied to her neck. Officials revealed many of the victims' limbs were placed in 45-gallon containers, covered with a corrosive substance and left to liquify. State prosecutors described the discovery as a “diabolical stew of human remains.”
Lisa Guy’s severed head was discovered by KCSO officials in a pot boiling on the stove, according to court documents. Nassios said KCSO deputies who discovered the crime scene had a “physical reaction” to the odor in the home where the bodies were found.
State prosecutors say Joel Guy Jr. “had a plan” arguing the incident was premeditated murder. They say Joel Guy Jr. had a checklist of notes for before and after the murder including, “get killing knives," “flush chunks down toilet, not garbage disposal,” and “body gives time of death, alibi.”
The state said Joel Guy Jr.'s notes also said, “kill him with knife,” and “kill her with knife.”
The state argued Joel Guy Jr.'s motive was financial. Nassios said Joel Guy Jr.'s notes documented phrases like “her assets, her life insurance 500K possibly more," and “Money all mine. I get the whole thing.”
Robin White, Joel Guy Sr.'s sister, took the stand Monday afternoon. White said Joel Guy Sr. told her he was planning to retire, move and cut his son off financially.
Joel Guy Jr.'s sister and half-sister also took the stand and said they knew Joel Guy Sr. and Lisa Guy planned to financially cut off their son. They planned to tell him during the Christmas holiday, where the family planned to be together at the family’s home in Surgoinsville, Tenn.
Joel Guy Jr.'s half-sister Angela said Lisa Guy “only worked to give her paycheck” to Joel Guy Jr. She stated Joel Guy Sr. and Lisa Guy told her it “was time for Joel Michael to stand on his own two feet.”
Lisa Guy’s boss, Jennifer Whitehead, said she called 911 concerned for her safety when she didn’t show up for work. Whitehead said she kept calling and hoping Lisa would pick up when she didn’t Whitehead said she knew something wasn’t right.
After Whitehead’s call, deputies performed a welfare check. During this check, authorities discovered the bodies of Joel Guy Sr. and Lisa Guy.
Michelle Tyler, Joe Guy Sr.'s daughter, took the stand Monday afternoon. Tyler said Joel Guy Jr. rarely talked to the family was there. She said she thought it was odd he was talking to her kids and showing them old toys during the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday.
Tyler also recalled seeing blue containers in Joel Guy Jr.'s car on Thanksgiving. The containers match the description of the containers found by KCSO officials.
Officer Steven Ballard, the first Knox Co. Sheriff’s Officer to respond for a welfare check of Lisa Guy, took the stand next. Ballard said he felt tingling on his forehead as he entered the home due to the odor of numerous chemicals.
Bodycam footage from the welfare check where officials discovered the bodies of Lisa Guy and Joel Guy Sr. were shown during day one of the trial. The video shows the moment Ballard realized the front door was ajar and the back door was missing a doorknob. An investigator can be heard on camera pointing out a hand when they enter the home before the officers realize they need backup.
Footage also showed numerous bottles of bleach in the kitchen floor alongside tools on the kitchen table. Officers' bodycam footage showed the stovetop as it was still turned on with a pot on top. Investigators said they later discovered Lisa Guy’s severed head in the pot.
Deputies recalled the thermostat in the home had been set to 90 degrees and groceries, including perishables were strewn across the entryway.
Officials released footage of bloodstains near the stairs of the home where investigators said Lisa Guy was killed and a pile of her clothes.
A forensic investigator said evidence was found in nearly every room of the home. She captured video of her initial walkthrough which showed the bodies of Lisa Guy and Joel Guy Sr. inside plastic tubs filled with chemicals.
The video also showed blood-splattered throughout the house, groceries bought by Lisa Guy dropped by the front door that had never made it to the refrigerator and shredded articles of clothing spread through multiple rooms.
There was also evidence that Joel Guy had treated injuries in one of the bathrooms.
Day one of the trial concluded just before 5 p.m. and is set to resume Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.
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