Sevier Man Loses Death Penalty Appeal

By: Brian Gregory Email
By: Brian Gregory Email

Nashville (WVLT) A Sevier County man has lost his death penalty appeal.

The Tennessee Court of Appeals today sided with Blount County Circuit Court in the case against James A. Dellinger.

The Circuit Court had previously denied Dellinger's appeal for post-conviction relief in connection from his 1992 conviction for first degree murder, and resulting death sentence.

In his conclusion, Judge Joseph Tipton wrote that, "following our review of the record and the applicable law, this court concludes that the petitioner has failed to establish that he is entitled to post-conviction relief. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court."

Dellinger and another man, Gary Wayne Sutton were sentenced to death in connection with the premeditated killing of Tommy Mayford Griffin in 1992.

According to court documents, on Monday, February 24, 1994, around 3:30 p.m. Griffin’s body was discovered lying face-down on a bank at the Blue Hole.

He had been shot in the back of the neck at the base of the skull with a shotgun.

Two 12-gauge shotgun shell casings and beer cans were found near the body. The shotgun shells were fired from the same gun that fired shells later found in Dellinger’s yard.

In his conclusion, Judge Joseph Tipton wrote that, "following our review of the record and the applicable law, this court concludes that the petitioner has failed to establish that he is entitled to post-conviction relief. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court."


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