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Posted by: Landry Butler on Sep 19, 2017

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James E. Thomas (on appeal) and James M. Gulley (elbow counsel at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Henry Lee Jones.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie R. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Amy Weirich, District Attorney General; Tom Henderson and Jennifer Nichols, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): EASTER

Defendant, Henry Lee Jones, was convicted of two counts of premeditated first degree murder and two counts of felony murder for his role in the 2003 murders of two Shelby County citizens. The jury sentenced Defendant to death for each murder. Defendant now appeals from these convictions and sentences. Defendant argues that the trial court erred by allowing Defendant to represent himself and committed other errors with regard to the provision of elbow counsel; the trial court erred by declaring a witness unavailable and allowing testimony from that witness regarding a prior bad act; the trial court erred by admitting photographs of the victims’ bodies and wounds; the State utilized improper closing argument; the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions; the trial court erred in denying Defendant a mitigation expert or investigator in preparation for sentencing; and the death sentence is arbitrary and disproportionate. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm Defendant’s convictions and sentences of death.