Mullins Hearing Continues Today In Morristown

Friday, March 8, 2002
by Bobby Rader News Director

The hearing for convicted Lillelid murderer Edward Dean Mullins continues this afternoon in a Hamblen County courtroom. Mullins is the fourth of the six convicted of the 1997 shooting deaths of the Knox County family to seek a new trial. The hearing before Judge James Beckner began February 27th in Hawkins County but had to be cut short when the daughter of the one of the participating attorneys fell ill. The case is being heard in Morristown today when Beckner is currently holding court.

Mullins, as have three other defendants, is asking that his guilty pleas in the deaths of Vidar, Delphinia and Tabitha Lillelid be set aside and a new trial be held. The judge has yet to rule on a similar petition by Joe Risner. His case was heard last month. Petitions by Crystal Sturgill and Natashia Wallen Cornett have been denied.

Six persons were convicted of the kidnapping and shooting of the family, which occurred April 6th of 1997. Only the youngest of the family of four survived the shootings. The defendants were all sentenced to three life terms without the possibility of parole.