A Tennessee man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his parents, dismembering their bodies and leaving behind a “diabolical stew of human remains” at the couple’s home after they planned to cut him off financially.
A jury found Joel Guy Jr, 32, guilty Friday of first-degree murder in the deaths of his parents Joel Guy Sr., 61, and Lisa Guy, 55, after deliberating for just three hours, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
“The citizens of Knox County can rest easier tonight knowing that our criminal justice process worked effectively to remove Joel Guy Jr. from our community,” District Attorney General Charme Allen said in a statement after the verdict, obtained by Oxygen.com.
The couple was brutally killed in their Hardin Valley home over Thanksgiving weekend in 2016 in a case so grisly it proved to be “emotionally taxing” for even seasoned investigators and prosecutorial staff, Allen said.
Deputies discovered Lisa Guy’s severed head in a boiling pot on the stove.
More of Lisa Guy and Joel Guy Sr.’s remains were found in 45-gallon containers in the home filled with a corrosive substance designed to liquify the body parts in what prosecutors described as a “diabolical stew of human remains,” WVLT reports.
Allen described the case as “horrific for the family to experience.”
“It is my hope that we were able to provide their family a small amount of comfort and closure with today’s verdict,” she said.
After the verdict was delivered, Knox County Criminal Court Judge Steve Sword sentenced Guy to an automatic life sentence, with the possibility of parole after 51 years, for each of the murder counts against him.
Sword will determine whether the life sentences will be carried out consecutively or concurrently at a hearing scheduled for Nov. 19.
Allen said her office plans to argue for consecutive sentences resulting in 102 years behind bars.
Investigators discovered a detailed notebook in Guy’s handwriting with plans for what he’d need to carry out the brutal attacks, including “killing knives” and “carving knives,” local station WBIR reports.
Prosecutors called the notebook a “book of premeditation” with specific details on how to dismember the bodies, dissolve his parents’ bones and then profit from the gruesome slayings by collecting money from his parents’ life insurance policies, the newspaper reports.
Prosecutors said Lisa and Joel Guy had been planning to retire and cut their son off financially. Joel Jr., who was 28 at the time of the murders, had been taking college courses at Louisiana State University and living off his parents for 10 years before the killings.
“(The Guys) wanted to retire and deserved to retire,” Knox County Assistant District Attorney Hector Sanchez said in court, according to the paper. “The motive is pretty apparent in this case – money … $500,000 (in life insurance proceeds). That’s what this case is about.”
Prosecutors argued that Guy killed his father first while his mother was out shopping.
When she came home a short time later, he killed her and then set to work trying to dismember and dissolve the bodies, but prosecutors believe his plan was thwarted after he cut his hands during the struggle with his father. Rather than disposing of the bodies, Guy Jr. left the remains in the house and drove back to his Louisiana home to seek treatment for his injuries.
After the verdict, the couple’s family delivered emotional victim impact statements, but Guy remained stoic throughout the heart-wrenching testimony.
Lisa Guy’s brother, Alvin Madere Jr., testified that after the murders, his mother was so traumatized she entered the hospital just days after the slayings and died just a day after the funeral, according to Law & Crime.
“The loss of her child was difficult for her. One that I hope I never have to endure. But to find out your daughter was murdered by her own grandchild was heartbreaking,” he said, adding that he believed his mother had died of a “broken heart.”
Guy’s half-sister Chandise Fink described her father and Lisa Guy as “wonderful” people.
“They were larger than life,” he said. “They were so happy, and such really good people. And they loved (Joel Jr.). They loved him so much. They loved all of us, and for anyone to do what he did, I don’t understand it.”
Half-sister Michelle Tyler said she knows she will “never be able to forgive” her half-brother for the trauma he caused the family.
“I rest easy knowing that God is okay with my choice not to forgive someone that has murdered my parents,” she said.