Defendant Sentenced to Life Plus Fifteen Years

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s Major Crimes and Career Gang Units obtained a sentence of life in prison plus fifteen years for a defendant who killed one victim and shot another during an attempted robbery.  Johnathan Lee Davis, Jr., 21, was convicted of First Degree Murder, Attempted Second Degree Murder, Employing a Firearm During the Commission of a Dangerous Felony, Attempted Especially Aggravated Robbery, and Aggravated Burglary in Concert.  Judge Scott Green previously sentenced Davis to life in prison on the First Degree Murder count.  At a sentencing hearing today, prosecutors sought, and the Court ordered fifteen additional years of confinement.

In a four-day trial in February, Assistant District Attorneys Hector Sanchez and Heather Good explained to the jury that on October 11, 2020, Knoxville Police Department Inv. Preston Whillock and other officers responded to a shooting at the Red Roof Inn at 5334 Central Avenue Pike.  At the scene, officers located one victim, John Townsend, who had died in a motel room and another victim, a motel employee, in critical condition in the breezeway of the motel.  Officers interviewed witnesses, collected evidence, and reviewed the security camera footage from the motel.  On surveillance video, officers could see four individuals exit a truck in the motel parking lot.  Three of the individuals, one of whom was identified as Davis, went to a second-floor motel room rented by Townsend in order to rob him.  Once in the room, the defendants shot Townsend.  Davis and the two others ran from the scene and encountered a hotel employee in the breezeway.  Davis shot the employee once in the chest before continuing to flee.

“We will continue to aggressively prosecute gun violence in order to take shooters off the streets and make our community safe,” said DA Charme Allen.

Life in prison in Tennessee means that Davis must serve fifty-one years in prison before he is eligible for parole.  The additional fifteen years ordered today must be served after Davis has served the life sentence.

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or [email protected]. For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at dag.knoxcountytn.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.