Crimetracker: Curtis Harper sentenced to 30 years

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The courtroom was packed and there were a lot of tears Wednesday as everyone anxiously waited to hear Curtis Harper's sentence. The Thornell and Soto families took the stand, describing their losses to the judge:

"How could this happen and why? And to know that the person responsible didn't even stop. He just left my child and her baby dead. That was truly agonizing. What kind of person does this?" said Stephanie Thornell, Chasity Thornell's mom.

"In my home there is no more happiness. It is not the same anymore," said Elbia Hurcules, Nelson Soto's wife.

Those who know Harper told the judge some of his good qualities like high grades and a strong work ethic. Then Harper addressed the courtroom and apologized.

"I'm so sorry. If there was anything I could do to change what happened that night, I would. I can't bring your loved ones back. From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry," said Harper.

The state asked the judge to sentence Harper to the maximum - almost 45 years.

"Anything less does not punish him adequately for these offenses," said Sarah Keith, an Assistant District Attorney.

But in the end, the judge sentenced Harper to 30 years in prison. He'll be eligible for parole after serving 9 years.

"I do feel that it was a just sentence. I think she made the right decision with the time that she has given him. Of course, even though we won, there's still that sense that nobody wins in something like this," said Stephanie Thornell.


Join the Conversation!

While WVLT allows comments on articles, we ask that you respect the online community. Comments may be removed at any time for violations including:

  • Obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, racism, violent descriptions, name-calling or personal attacks.
  • Abuse of multiple accounts.
  • Off-topic comments.

Comments may be checked for inappropriate content or rule violation, but the station is under no legal obligation to monitor or remove comments. If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator. 
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 213226891 - local8now.com/a?a=213226891
Gray Television, Inc.