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No delay in September trial for Joel Guy Jr., man accused of murdering and dismembering his parents

A judge denied Guy's request to delay his trial scheduled in Knox County next month due to COVID-19 concerns.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Joel Guy Jr., the man accused of killing his parents and cutting up their bodies around Thanksgiving 2016, will face trial as scheduled next month.

As Guy Jr. sat emotionless in court without a mask on Thursday morning, a Knox County judge heard a request from his attorney to hold off the start of his trial, saying it would need to be delayed until after the COVID-19 pandemic in order for him to get a fair trial. 

Judge Steve Sword disagreed, saying that while he knows there will need to be considerations taken to protect everyone in the courtroom since the trial is likely to last longer than a week, he had confidence they can begin it safely next month on September 28. 

“There is an increased danger for a mistrial in this case, but on the other side there are other competing interests. There is a greater cost – and that is the cost of the lack of faith that the community would have in the justice system,” Sword said. "This case is old and needs to be resolved."  

Sword said a request for delay due to COVID-19 could be revisited should Knox County's numbers be "worse than predicted" as the trial approaches. 

Guy Jr., now 32, lived in Baton Rouge, La., but had been visiting for Thanksgiving. His parents were ready to cut off financial support for the longtime student, a fact that angered him, prosecutors allege.

After spending Thanksgiving with his parents in the home as well as the following day, investigators think he murdered his parents on Saturday, Nov. 26. Authorities found evidence that suggests Lisa Guy had just returned to the home from shopping when she was killed.

Someone had cut up their bodies and tried to dissolve them with chemicals. One victim's head was found in a pot on the stove in the kitchen, according to court records.

The elder Guys were in the process of selling the home.