KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An Alcoa man was handed two consecutive life sentences on Tuesday after pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.

Ronnie Johnson, 44, will spend the rest of his life in prison for the attempted murder of his girlfriend and the murders of Boyd and Doris Beets at their home on March 21, 2020, in West Knox County.

Johnson accused his girlfriend of cheating and ordered her into his vehicle. As they were driving down Lovell Road, Johnson told her he was going to kill her. He began strangling her after driving into a neighborhood where she tried to get away from Johnson and sought help on the front porch of a nearby home.

Johnson tried to run over her with his truck and crashed into the home. Homeowners Boyd and Doris Beets, both 67, were shot and killed after trying to approach Johnson.

Knox County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jeremy McCord responded to the scene, gathered
evidence, and interviewed witnesses leading to Johnson’s arrest.

“I hope the resolution in this case brings closure to the family,” said DA Charme Allen. “Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in this case, this defendant will spend the rest of his life in prison.”

A life sentence in the State of Tennessee means a defendant must serve at least 51 years in prison before meeting with the parole board. With the two life sentences imposed consecutively, Johnson would not be eligible to meet with the parole board until the year 2121.