Tennessee court upholds death sentence in Bartlett couple’s slaying


Henry Lee Jones

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld two death sentences for Henry Lee Jones in the 2003 slayings of a Bartlett couple in their home.

The court considered several issues, including whether Jones was denied a right to counsel when he insisted on representing himself. The court found that “a defendant who knowingly and intelligently waives the right to counsel cannot later allege the denial of effective assistance of counsel because of his own poor performance.”

The court also determined there was no error when the trial court allowed earlier testimony from a witness who could not be located to be read to the jury.

The Supreme Court ruling also found there was sufficient evidence to convict Jones and his sentence is not out of proportion with those for similar crimes.

Jones has been on death row since his 2009 conviction for the slayings of 82-year-old Clarence James and his wife, 67-year-old Lillian James. They were found stabbed, bound and strangled in their home outside Memphis.

Jones’ original convictions were overturned in 2014, but his case was quickly remanded for a new trial.

Jones was also convicted of killing 19-year-old Carlos Perez in Florida in 2003.

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