Court denies relief to man who killed son-in-law

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A circuit court judge in Sevierville has denied lesser punishment for a man who pleaded guilty to killing his son-in-law.

Judge Richard Vance sent Jimmie Robinson back to prison after denying his petition for post-conviction relief on Friday.

The Mountain Press reported Vance told Robinson he served himself well in accepting a 2011 plea bargain that brought him a 17-year sentence on a second-degree murder conviction. He could have received a life term, had he been convicted of first-degree murder.

Robinson said he shot Jason Hicks outside Hicks' home because he believed Hicks might molest his grandchildren.

The Department of Children's Services investigated such allegations, but there was insufficient evidence to file charges.

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