Judge Strikes Down Petition From Lillelid Family Murderers
Yesterday in Greeneville, a judge struck down a petition from several inmates convicted in the killing of the Lillelid family back in 1997. The convicted murderers had requested fingerprint analysis be done on the gun that killed all but one of the members of that family. Inmates Karen Howell, Edward Mullins, Crystal Sturgill and Joseph Risner had contended that only Jason Bryant had pulled the trigger killing three of the four members of the Lillelid family. The inmates were hoping that fingerprint analysis could put them in a better negotiating position for a more favorable sentence, or possibly new sentencing hearing.
However in striking down the request, Judge Alex Pearson said that even if the petitioner’s statements were true, “it would not establish when the fingerprint was made on the firearm, before, during, or after the shooting, and it would not eliminate the possibility that other defendants handled or used the firearm during the commission of the murders.” Pearson in his ruling went on to say “The petitioners are simply grasping at any straw that they can because unless they are granted some type of sentence modification then they will all spend the rest of their lives in prison.”