KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Knox County jury found a man guilty of murdering his girlfriend after he initially claimed it was a suicide in March. Then, on July 29, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
Timothy Dion Wells, 47, was found guilty as charged for the second-degree murder of his girlfriend, according to the District Attorney's Office.
On March 31, 2019, Knoxville Police Department Investigator Chas Terry responded to a 911 call regarding a dead person at a home off Pleasant Ridge Road, the DA's Office said.
Wells initially told investigators that his girlfriend committed suicide. He later changed his story and claimed that he accidentally shot his girlfriend in the head while testing the safety on his handgun, according to the DA's Office.
KPD Sgt. Brian Dalton, an expert in Forensic Toolmark Analysis and Firearm Incident Reconstruction, testified to the unlikelihood of an accidental discharge of the firearm. Dalton also testified that the trajectory of the bullet was more consistent with a point-and-shoot scenario, the DA's Office said.
Investigators also recovered text messages sent by Wells to another woman that states he would rather be in a relationship with the other woman than the victim, according to the DA's Office.
The jury discredited both Well's stories about suicide and an accidental shooting and found him guilty, the DA's Office said.
“As our community sees an increase in homicides, we will continue to aggressively prosecute cases of gun violence,” District Attorney Charme Allen said.
Wells is currently in custody and his sentencing takes place on May 19. He faces 15 to 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole.