Defendant Accuses Another Defendant

Tuesday, November 26, 2097

One of the Lillelid murder suspects told Greene County Authorities it was the youngest of the suspects who shot and killed the Lillelid family in April near Baileyton.

In court documents released Tuesday, 18 year old Crystal Sturgill had told Sheriff Terry Jones and Detective Jim Ellison it was then 14 year old Jason Blake Bryant who shot the Lillilids. Sturgill made the remarks as she was being transported to Greene County by Jones and Ellison from McGee Tyson Airport in Knoxville during the suspects return from Arizona.

Sturgill's account of events leading up to the deaths of Vidar, Delphinia and Tabitha Lillelid is among statements defense attorneys want excluded from trial.

According to the officers, Sturgill said the suspects met up with the Lillelid family at the I-81 rest stop, a few miles from the fatal shootings, where Vidar Lillelid gave Joseph Risner a religious tract. Moments later, Vidar Lillelid, Sturgill said, got into the drivers seat of his van, with Risner in the passengers seat. Sturgill and Mullins trailed the van in the now infamous Chevy Citation in which the suspects had traveled in from Kentucky. Sturgill says when they arrived on Payne Hollow Road, she heard five or six shots, then heard Bryant scream that one gun wouldn't fire and the other was empty. Sturgill told the officers she later heard 5 or six more shots as Bryant exited the Van.

While Sturgill's attorney wants those statements excluded, Risner's attorney, Mark Slagle told the court Tuesday he wants the statements allowed, because it clears his client from being the shooter. Risner had been implicated in earlier testimony.

Judge James Beckner made no ruling on the motions Tuesday, but hopes to issue written rulings within the next month.

Motions hearings have been scheduled for each Tuesday and Thursday in January prior to the start of trial, which the judge has set for February 10th.