Teen Gets 40 Years in Alcoa Teen's Murder

By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief
By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief

Maryville, Blount County (WVLT) - An Alcoa teen takes a plea deal that will put him behind bars for four decades.

Renwick Andre Earls Junior pleaded guilty to murdering his friend, 16-year-old Tamir Shereef last November.

When we first met William Bryant, he was a heartbroken man who said he just wanted justice. Seven months later, he says friday, he got what he wanted.

"I finally got justice. Justice was served today,” says William Bryant, father of Tamir Shereef.

For the family of Tamir Shereef, it's been seven long months since his death and his killer's sentencing.

Not even old enough to vote, 17-year-old Renwick Andre Earls, Jr. will be close to retirement after being sentenced to 40 years behind bars.

Earls pleaded to second degree murder in the November 14, 2006 murder of 16-year-old Tamir Shereef outside an Alcoa home. This week, Shereef's father heard the details of how his son was murdered.

"He had shot Tamir once and Tamir was struggling with him for the gun for his life, you know, struggling for his life,” says William.

In the courtroom, Bryant says he looked at his son's killer, but couldn't make eye contact and never got an apology or even expected one. "No, not really. I just wanted to go on and get it over with. That will be the last time I see him."

Prosecutors said the murder was over the Shereef allegedly making advances on Earls’ girlfriend. The victim's father says it never should have happened. "They was supposed to be best friends and he could have come to me or went to Jenine and told then what the situation was instead of taking the matter into his own hands. Now his life is messed up."

Shereef was once a member of the Knoxville Track Club. Bryant says he's now a volunteer. For him, it's therapy. "I think about the good times that me and Tamir had you know, none of the bad times that we had. Over there at the track, it gives me like kinda he's watching down on us."

Since June, Bryant has stayed active with his son's track team even leaving Friday morning once court was over for a track competition.

He heads back to Knoxville for another meet in the morning.

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