Demery to be sentenced in 2002 death case

  By Abby Morris
  star staff
  amorris@starhq.com
  Convicted killer Timothy Demery is scheduled to be sentenced in Carter County Criminal Court on Monday in connection with the death of a Unicoi County man more than two years ago.
  In April, a jury convicted Demery, 27, of second-degree murder in the March 2002 death of David Harmon. Originally charged with first-degree murder, Demery now faces a sentence of 15-25 years in prison for the second-degree murder conviction.
  According to an autopsy report completed by a forensic pathologist, Harmon was shot 15 times with a .22-caliber rifle and one time with a .25-caliber handgun. The shot from the handgun was the shot that killed Harmon, forensic pathologist Gretel Stephens said in court. The shot hit Harmon between the eyes and was fired from a distance of one-to-two feet.
  Demery testified in court that the shooting occurred because Harmon and two other men attacked him in his home. However, he denied firing the fatal shot. He said Harmon had the handgun in his possession and was in another room when that gun went off.
  Assistant District Attorney Ken Baldwin told the jury that Harmon and two other men did not attack Demery and only Demery and Harmon were in the residence at the time of the shooting. Baldwin said Demery's actions were premeditated.
  Demery last appeared in Criminal Court on July 1, at which time Judge Robert Cupp postponed the sentencing hearing and admonished Demery for statements he made in his pre-sentencing report regarding his attorney during the trial, Assistant Public Defender Robert Oaks.
  "Mr. Demery, I got the pre-sentencing hearing paperwork on you and I read with great interest the things you had to say about Mr. Oaks and the things that happened in this courtroom," Cupp said. "The foreman of that jury told me the only reason they did not convict you of first-degree murder is because they feel the (Carter County) Sheriff's Department did a stinky job in the investigation. They had no doubt you executed that man."
  According to Cupp, Demery complained about the effectiveness of Oak's counsel during the trial and the quality of his defense. "You shot a man between the eyes and you are walking out of here with a second-degree murder conviction and you want to complain about your lawyer?" Cupp asked Demery. "Defendants find something wrong with everyone but themselves. I'm going to allow Mr. Oaks to withdraw from your case for the sentencing if he so desires."
  In the pre-sentencing report -- which asks questions about things such as family life, drug and alcohol abuse and criminal background -- Demery stated that he had asked Oaks to ask specific questions of witnesses during the trial and Oaks refused to do so. "There was a lot of questions that was important that he would not ask all he would say is 'I know what I'm doing.' Well I say no he didn't know anything. I got second degree murder and I should not have..." Demery writes in a section of the report asking him to give his statement about the incident.