Triple Homicide Defendant Sentenced to Life without Parole
DA Charme Allen announces that prosecutors in the Major Crimes Unit obtained multiple convictions against a man who shot and killed three women. Desmon Paul Rhea, 27, was convicted of two counts of First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder, Aggravated Burglary, and Employing a Firearm During the Commission of a Dangerous Felony. After finding Rhea guilty, the jury also sentenced Rhea to serve Life in Prison without the Possibility of Parole.
In a two-week trial, Deputy District Attorney Leland Price and Assistant District Attorney Cameron Williams explained to the jury that on March 8, 2020, Rhea shot and killed his first victim while driving in a vehicle. After leaving her body in the road at the intersection of Liberty Street and Division Street, Rhea went to the victim’s home where he shot and killed her mother and roommate. The jury found Rhea guilty of Second Degree Murder for the first victim and guilty of First Degree Murder for the second and third victims. Following the verdict, prosecutors also asked the jury to find aggravating circumstances and to impose a sentence of Life in Prison without the Possibility of Parole. Ultimately, the jury imposed life without parole, finding the murder was “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel” and that the defendant committed “mass murder” which is defined as the murder of three or more persons.
“At sentencing, the jury could finally hear the voice of the victims,” said DA Allen. “During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we remember these three victims and all victims of crime.”
Judge Scott Green set the case for sentencing on June 29 for the Second Degree Murder, Aggravated Burglary, and Employing a Firearm During the Commission of a Dangerous Felony charges. Assistant Victim Witness Coordinator Veronica Fay aided in the prosecution of this case.
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.