published Friday, January 27th, 2012

Chattanooga man faces possible 40 year prison sentence after murder conviction

Walter George Glenn was found guilty Thursday in the 2009 death of Carlton Braswell.
Walter George Glenn was found guilty Thursday in the 2009 death of Carlton Braswell.
Photo by Jake Daniels.

A Chattanooga man faces up to 40 years in prison after being convicted Thursday of killing a 17-year-old boy.

Walter Glenn, 37, will be sentenced for second-degree murder on April 2. A jury deliberated just two hours Wednesday evening and Thursday morning before finding Glenn guilty of knifing Carlton Braswell.

Glenn didn't react visibly to the jury verdict. His criminal history will affect his sentence, which could range from 25 to 40 years.

Witnesses testified that on Dec. 20, 2009, Braswell was walking from his apartment in the 1900 block of Southern Street when he crossed paths with Glenn and asked him for a puff of his cigarette. Glenn refused.

The pair argued, cursing at each other, and then parted.

Braswell went to get cigarettes and as he returned, Glenn stabbed him in the neck, prosecutors said. Braswell ran, bleeding, back to his apartment, where he died.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents found Glenn nearly two months later hiding in the crawl space of a house in Nashville.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Finlay said Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern could sentence Glenn in the middle of the range. As a violent offender, Glenn will have to serve 100 percent of whatever sentence the judge imposes.

Prosecutors had sought a first-degree murder conviction, which could have placed Glenn in prison for life.

"I can understand why a jury would convict on second-degree murder," Finlay said. "There was some evidence on premeditation but obviously not enough for them to be comfortable convicting him of first-degree murder. The state is pleased with the verdict."

Finlay also commended police for their work on the case.

"They helped us put it together and present it in a way that the jury could understand it, analyze it and obviously render a guilty verdict," Finlay said.

A dozen relatives and friends of Braswell and at least eight of Glenn's supporters remained subdued during the Thursday morning verdict.

Neither jury members nor family members would comment on the trial.

Glenn's attorney, Ben McGowan, said the next step would be to prepare for sentencing, when prosecutors will seek a higher range and the defense will ask for a lower one.

The two-day trial included testimony from close friends and a family member.

Raven Glenn, Walter Glenn's daughter and Braswell's half-sister, testified that Braswell told her Walter Glenn was the attacker as he bled to death on their living room floor.

"It's a difficult position that the family finds itself in," Assistant District Attorney Matthew Rogers said. "There are really no winners in something like this."

about Todd South...

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 ...

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