A convicted murderer has lost his bid for a new trial in the shooting death of his wife, which he maintains was an accident.
Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole heard testimony from multiple witnesses in a post-conviction hearing in February and March.
Poole’s 66-page opinion, filed Oct. 13, details Edward T. Kendrick III’s case for a new trial on his 1994 conviction for the first-degree murder of Lisa Kendrick.
Kendrick showed up at the gas station where Lisa Kendrick worked. Witnesses testified they heard an explosion and saw Kendrick in the parking lot, standing over his wife with a rifle.
Kendrick claims the gun fired accidentally and he never intended to kill his wife. He has appealed his conviction on grounds of trial error and ineffective assistance of counsel.
Kendrick’s current attorney, Jeffrey Schaarschmidt, said his client will appeal Poole’s decision.
“We discussed where [Kendrick] felt that the court focused on the wrong areas. And we discussed his intent to file a notice of appeal,” Schaarschmidt said.
He said Kendrick believes some of weapons expert Jack Belk’s testimony wasn’t considered properly in the spring hearing. Belk spoke about historical problems in the trigger mechanism of the Remington Model 7400 .30-06 rifle.
Assistant District Attorney Lance Pope said Thursday that Poole’s denial of a new trial “is an important step for the family in the finality and conclusion of the case.”
The Tennessee Criminal Court of Appeals will decide if there are any errors in Poole’s findings worthy of further consideration. The Tennessee Attorney General’s office will handle the case on appeal, Pope said.
Kendrick, who dismissed Schaarschmidt during the most recent hearings to represent himself, will file his own appeals from this point forward. Schaarschmidt said he will ensure Kendrick’s filings make it to the appropriate levels.
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...