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Joel Guy Jr. ‘thinks he’s smarter than he really is,’ says judge during sentencing

According to the judge, the jury found Joel Guy Jr. guilty unanimously on all 7 counts. The four-day-long trial involved more than 700 pieces of evidence and 27 witnesses.
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 8:47 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Joel Guy Jr., a man convicted in the brutal murder and dismembering of his parents in their Hardin Valley home during Thanksgiving weekend 2016, was given two consecutive life sentences Thursday morning.

Joel Michael Guy Jr. was found guilty on all charges including two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of first-degree felony murder and two counts of abuse of a corpse on Oct. 2.

READ: A full recap of the murder trial of Joel Guy Jr.

According to Knox County Judge Steven Sword, the jury found Joel Guy Jr. guilty unanimously on all 7 counts. The four-day-long trial involved more than 700 pieces of evidence and 27 witnesses.

Guy Jr. was sentenced to life in prison for counts 1 through 5 in October. Judge Sword revealed his fate for counts 6 and 7 during the Thursday morning court appearance.

Judge Sword called this case the “most extreme form of abuse of a corpse” he’s seen in his 25-year career. The judge told Guy Jr. that he “thinks he’s smarter than he really is,” noting the crimes were committed in an “unintelligent way.”

“Hopefully, it’s the most severe I see in my career, however long that lasts,” Judge Sword said.

Judge Sword said Guy Jr. showed no remorse for his actions during the trial and appeared “proud” of his actions. He also said he had concerns that Guy Jr. has a “depraved mind” that would not change over any length of time.

According to Judge Sword, Guy Jr. had threatened to blind his cellmate in order to attempt to get a cell to himself.

“It was a crime of pure evil overkill,” Judge Sword said.

Guy Jr. will not be eligible for release for 130 years. During the sentencing, Judge Sword said 300 years “isn’t enough time” to reasonably relate to what Guy Jr. did.

Before his trial began, Guy Jr. requested the death penalty but prosecutors said they did not intend to seek it.

Guy Jr. received two consecutive life sentences with four years on top of that. He will appear in court again on Feb. 5, 2021, for a status hearing.

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