Tenn. church shooter pleads guilty, gets life

This concerns that gunman who attacked a Unitarian church last summer.

An out-of-work truck driver smiled Monday as he pleaded guilty to killing two people and wounding six others at a Tennessee church last summer because he considered the liberal church “a den of un-American vipers.”

“Yes, ma’am, I am guilty as charged,” Jim D. Adkisson, 58, told Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz before she sentenced him to life in prison without parole on two counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder.

Adkisson was scheduled to stand trial next month in the July 2008 rampage at the Tennessee Valley United Unitarian Church in Knoxville, but decided to enter a plea deal that virtually guarantees he will never leave prison alive.

Public defender Mark Stephens said a mental health expert determined Adkisson was competent to make the plea, though Stephens was prepared to argue at trial that his client was insane at the time of the crime. Adkisson believed entering the plea was “the honorable thing to do,” Stephens said.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.