Joel Guy Jr. Trial Day 2: Prosecutors working to link physical evidence to murder plan


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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) Hundreds of pieces of evidence collected from the Goldenview Lane house in West Knoxville where Joel Guy Sr. and Lisa Guy were killed were on display during the second day of testimony.

State prosecutors are taking the jury back to November 2016 through photos, videos, and physical evidence collected from the Guy’s home.

Lead Investigator Jeremy McCord took the stand at the end of the day to walk the jury through his experience as one of the first investigators to enter the house.

McCord and Knox County Sheriff’s Office forensics experts shared testimony about their process of collecting and documenting evidence.

The findings support statements made by Assistant District Attorney Leslie Nassios during opening statements Monday, that Joel Guy Jr. had a plan to murder his parents and get rid of the evidence.

“The entire time we’re making announcements we’re hit with heat, with this strange odor. There is a large pot on the stove, you can tell the stove top and the oven are on because of all of the heat coming from that area. It’s very odd,” said McCord.

McCord, who is seen on bodycam video leading KCSO Officers through the house for the first time, shared what was going through his head as he and the team conducted a welfare check in 2016.

Lisa Guy’s coworker, concerned when she didn’t show up for work or answer repeated calls, reported those concerns to 911. After requesting a welfare check, KCSO’s investigators went to the Goldenview Lane house where Lisa lived with her husband, Guy Sr.

McCord said it was odd arriving to see multiple cars in the driveway, but no answer at the door.

When they moved to the backyard and the backdoor of the house, he saw the doorknob was missing. Hit with an odor and heat right away, he says they knew they had to go inside to see if anyone was in danger.

At that point, they didn’t know what was inside, but could see groceries dropped in the foyer. McCord said it was as if a task was started, but not finished.

“For us to see two wallets there and knowing that Lisa and Joel live in this home alone. It’s alarming,” he said.

Crime scene photos show violent nature of murders

A KCSO forensic expert reviewed the photos taken at the Goldenview Lane house, that show the amount of blood at the scene.

Jereomey Tewalt, a former KCSO Forensic Officer, responsible for documenting crime scenes, walked the jury through a slideshow of photos he took in Nov. 2016.

Pictures show blood in the home’s exercise room where investigators say Joel Guy Sr. was killed. Some of the photos include measurement markers, which he explains:

“To see the distance of how high the blood is. You can tell by the distance or the angle of how blood hits a surface,” said Tewalt.

“There was something else present with the clothing and what appeared to be reddish brown staining on the floor, the wall. You can see straight down the hall,” said McCord, “I saw hands that were not connected to a body.”

He said by that point, he made the decision to turn and go into the master bedroom of the home. By this point, he is upstairs staring straight ahead.

“It’s gut wrenching and its something that I never experienced before,” said McCord.

Prosecutors also ask about physical pieces of evidence collected, like two plastic containers and gasoline containers.

These items are listed in a notebook, recovered in a backpack found with Guy Jr.’s belongings. In it, a plan to murder Guy Sr. and Lisa. The gasoline, as described in the notebook, would be used to burn down the home. The plastic containers used to transport the bodies.

One entry read: “Place him in plastic bin, use it to get him to upstairs bathroom.”

The notebook has been a point of discussion, as with the backpack where it was found, in hearings before the trial.

Guy Jr.’s lawyers attempted to get that evidence suppressed arguing that authorities seized the backpack wrongly. Defense Attorney Stephen Harwell told Judge Steve Sword during a June 2020 hearing that detectives who searched the Goldenview Lane house should not have taken the backpack.

It was found in an upstairs room of the house that investigators, as well as family, say Guy Jr. stayed when he was in town visiting from Louisiana.

Former KCSO Forensics Officer reviews evidence.

Other physical evidence introduced: the stock-pot found simmering on the stove of the Goldenview Lane house, with Lisa Guy’s head inside.

In his testimony, McCord described the moment he opened the lid of the stockpot to review what was inside.

The stove was on when investigators arrived to the house, the surface was hot, according to one forensics expert.

Walmart Security Video: “It was a starting point for the investigation”

The first witness on Tuesday was an employee from Walmart in the Turkey Creek shopping center in Knoxville.

The employee reviewed receipts, found at the Guy’s home, from a shopping trip by Lisa Guy and another shopping trip by Guy Jr.

The first shopping trip was likely the last time Lisa was seen alive. Based on security footage and receipts, she visited the store around noon on Nov. 26th, 2016 — the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The groceries purchased on this shopping trip were later found in the house on Goldenview Lane scattered. Prosecutors say perishable items like ice cream and bacon were found among the purchases that were not put away.

The second security video reviewed was Guy Jr., on Nov. 26th around 3:30 p.m. Investigators believe by the time he is photographed going into the Walmart, his parents are already dead.

A self-checkout video shows Guy Jr.’s hand is injured and wrapped. He is buying medical supplies, that would later be found in the Goldenview House.

McCord testified that the video was accessed shortly after investigators began documenting the Guy’s West Knoxville home based on receipts they found.

“It was a starting point for the investigation. That’s where the video of Mr. Guy Jr. at the Walmart making a purchase, I believe it was on the 26th during the 3 o’clock hour. That’s where that video was found and was observed,” said McCord.

McCord credits a conversation with Michelle Tyler, Guy Sr.’s daughter, as to how investigators knew Guy Jr. was staying with his parents over the Thanksgiving weekend.

He said when they found the Walmart receipts and were able to review security footage from the Knoxville store the same day, it gave them a place to start. Also on video: a car with Louisiana tags, that McCord said, would show Guy Jr. was the person in the video.

Testimony continues Tuesday into the afternoon. More crime scene photos are being reviewed by the jury.

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