Jury dismissed, to resume deliberations Friday in murder trial of Joel Guy Jr.

The jury in the trial of Joel Guy Jr. dismissed Thursday with intentions to return for deliberations Friday morning.
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 9:25 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Court resumed Thursday morning as the 26th witness took the stand in the trial of Joel Guy Jr., the man accused of brutally murdering and dismembering his parents in their Knox County home during Thanksgiving weekend 2016.

LIVE video from inside the courtroom:

Jim Brink was the first to testify on Thursday. Brink is an employee at KGIS. He testified that the Guy family lived at Goldenview lane in Hardin Valley, 642 miles from Baton Rouge.

Dr. Murray Marks, a forensic anthropologist took the stand. He testified that Dr. Hawes, who performed autopsies on Mr. and Mrs. Guy, asked him to help with the case.

Dr. Marks was asked to explain what he found when examining the skeletal remains of Joel Guy Sr.

He reported several findings including sharp force trauma to the ribs, trauma to the shoulder blades, damage from the chemicals the bones were placed in.

Dr. Marks reported that Lisa Guy had 12 ribs that were damaged, cut marks on the ribs, blunt force trauma, sharp force trauma to the scapula, knees damaged by chemical exposure, 21 sharp force injuries to the ribs, nine completely severed ribs, the lower portion of the legs removed at the knee, and one hand removed from the wrist.

Joel Guy Jr. was given an opportunity to testify in his own defense, but he declined.

The jury was dismissed as lawyers prepared closing arguments.

The defense argued that a recording of a call between Joel Guy Jr. and Micahel McCracken should not be admissible in court, but the judge said he believed it provided relevant information and allowed the call remain in court as evidence.

During closing arguments, prosecutors made a connection between the notebook scrawled with instructions on how to murder the Guys, and the evidence that showed the instructions were followed during the killings. The notes said “turn heater as high as it goes to speed decomposition,” and prosecutors noted that the thermostat in the house was turned to 90 degrees.

The defense argued that no DNA or fingerprints were found on the pages of the notebook and suggested that indicated it may not belong to Joel Guy Jr. However, prosecutors pointed out that the writing contained information that only Guy Jr. would know, such as knowledge about his mother’s life insurance policy.

“The notebook they tell us, well they did note, the DNA on the outside of the notebook. So that means at some point someone touched the outside of the notebook. What about DNA on writing on the inside,” questioned John Halstead, Guy’s attorney.

Prosecutors argued that Lisa Guy had only continued to work in order to support her son and that Joel Guy Jr. used her money to pay for the tubs the bodies were dissolved in, the tools used in the murders, and the potato salad Guy bought after Lisa and Joel Sr. were killed.

“She paid for his red potato salad he got when he was buying his medical supplies because he worked up an appetite after all of that and he was in the mood for some red potato salad. Think about that,” explained ADA Leslie Nassios, “Think about that. She paid for the tubs that she and her husband disintegrated in.”

The prosecutor also said Lisa Guy was searching for a new job in Surgoinsville and said this showed evidence that she intended to continue to support her son despite her husband’s wishes to cut him off.

Following closing statements, Judge Sword explained the charges against Joel Guy Jr. and how to reach a verdict in the case before dismissing them to deliberate.

Joel Guy Jr. is charged with five counts first degree murder and two counts of abuse of a corpse.

At about 5 p.m. the jury decided to break for the evening and resume deliberations Friday morning at 10 a.m.

WATCH: Trial resumes for man accused of killing, dismembering parents at Knox Co. home, WARNING: may contain disturbing details

Posted by WVLT on Thursday, October 1, 2020

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