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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- There was a plan, a motive, and behavior that was “odd” over the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday that state prosecutors believe prove, without a shadow of a doubt, Joel Guy Jr. is guilty for the crimes for which he is on trial.
Day one of the double-murder trial ended Monday, with nearly 7 hours of witness testimony and opening statements from both the state and defense.
For the first time in a courtroom, prosecutors showed bodycam footage from the first search of the Goldenview Lane home where Joel Guy Sr. and Lisa Guy lived in Knoxville.
In 2016, it was on the market to be sold. They were planning to retire, move closer to family in Surgoinsville, Tenn. and retire.
Investigators are seen on the bodycam footage conducting a welfare check announcing, “Knox County Sheriff’s Office” multiple times, but never getting a response.
They enter the home and are met with heat and a stench, according to then-KCSO officer Steven Ballard.
State: “Fear turned to horror as he went upstairs”
Assistant District Attorney Leslie Nassios spent an hour of the day walking jurors through the state’s evidence and theories of what happened over the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday, that would end with Joel Guy Sr. and Lisa Guy dismembered and dead in their Knoxville home days later.
She described it as a “diabolical stew” inside the house on Goldenview Lane. Lisa Guy was stabbed 31 times. She had 21 injuries to her ribs and nine of her ribs were severed. Guy Sr. had defense wounds on his hands.
“In one corner of the room there was evidence to show a thrashing motion,” Nassios said in opening statements.
New evidence shared today for the first time: a notebook filled with a plan to murder his parents, handwritten by Guy Jr., according to the state.
Reading passages and showing pages to jurors, Nassios went line-by-line outlining the evidence of a plan to murder and dispose of the evidence.
Notes like, “Kill her with a knife, kill him with a knife” and “Turn heaters up to 90 degrees to melt finger prints and melt everything” and “Money all mine, I get the whole thing,” cover pages of the book.
Note: Some of the images of the notebook included in this post may be graphic or disturbing.
The notebook, according to state prosecutors, proves that Guy Jr. was motivated by a 500K insurance plan, of which, he was the beneficiary.
Some of the plans outlined in the notebook were not carried out. Nassios notes that although there were notes to buy a blender and a food processor to “grind the meat”, there was no evidence that showed it happened. There was, however, a food processor found in Guy Jr.’s car when he was arrested.
The heat that officers felt during their first search of the home, part of the plans outlined in the notebook in order to “speed up” the decomposition process.
Nassios describes the investigators response as they searched the house for the first time, “His fear turned to horror as he went upstairs,” describing when a KCSO detective saw dismembered hands laying on the ground that belonged to Guy Sr.
Family: “They were meant to be together”
Joel Guy Sr. and Lisa Guy were married 31 years. Guy Sr. was married and had two daughters before he met her, and although she was not their biological mother, both daughters say she treated them like her own.
One of them, Michelle Tyler, took the stand and told stories of her childhood looking up to Lisa. “She’s all I’ve ever known,” she said when describing their relationship.
“I so wanted to be this woman,” said Tyler.
Tyler and her sons spent Thanksgiving 2016 with her parents at their home in Knoxville.
Tyler says Thanksgiving was stressful that year because the family knew her half-brother, Guy Jr., was going to be cut-off financially by his parents.
Tyler, along with two of Guy Sr.’s sisters, shared that they all had separate conversations with Guy Sr. and Lisa before Thanksgiving 2016 that by Christmas that year, Guy Jr. would be told he was “on his own” financially.
Family shared that Lisa didn’t have to work at all, but kept a job to support her son and pay his bills.
Typically, according to these family members, Guy Jr. was not part of the “family banter” at holiday functions. He lived in Louisiana and didn’t come home often, except for holidays. Even then, Tyler said, he spent most of the time alone in his room at the Knoxville home.
Tyler said Guy Jr. was interacting with the family in 2016 on the holiday. He was talking to her sons and gave them some of his toys Lisa kept at the home. That was “odd” according to Tyler, as until that point, she wasn’t convinced Guy Jr. even knew their names.
Day 2 of the trial begins Tuesday
More than 60 people are listed as potential witnesses for this trial and have been notified by the state.
That includes officials from the FBI, TBI, KCSO, and the Knox County Medical Examiner.
Court resumes Tuesday at 9 a.m. Live trial coverage can be found on Twitter from 6 On Your Side Reporter Madisen Keavy.
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