Grundy County, Tenn., man found guilty on lesser charge

Grundy County, Tenn., man found guilty on lesser charge

August 20th, 2013 by Ben Benton in Local Regional News

Kurt Brewer

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

A Grundy County, Tenn., man charged with first-degree murder in a fatal shooting in Gruetli-Laager, Tenn., has been found guilty of the lesser charge of reckless homicide and not guilty on other charges, officials said.

Kurt Brewer, 31, was charged in 2012 with first-degree murder in the death of Corey Henry, and he might have faced life in prison if convicted.

But Dunlap, Tenn., attorney Stephen Greer, Brewer's lawyer, said Brewer now faces a potential prison sentence of two to four years with the possibility of probation after his three-day jury trial in Grundy County Circuit Court last week. A sentencing hearing is set Oct. 18 in Marion County Circuit Court.

Jurors on Friday found Brewer not guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. He also was found not guilty of two counts of felony reckless endangerment.

Grundy County investigators said Henry was shot multiple times in front of witnesses after an all-day argument over $25 escalated into violence at a home on 60th Avenue North in Gruetli-Laager on July 29, 2012.

The home belonged to an acquaintance of Henry's, and others had gathered there that day along with the victim and Brewer, authorities said during the investigation.

Officers found Henry suffering from multiple bullet wounds, and he was airlifted to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga where he later died. Brewer left the residence but was found later at his home nearby.

Greer said on Monday that testimony in the trial was "dramatically different" from original accounts.

He said witnesses testified that Henry was trying to draw a weapon and that Brewer was firing his weapon in defense and in an effort to disable rather than kill.

Greer said witnesses testified that Brewer was shooting at a downward angle to reduce the risk of killing Henry, but that a bullet struck Henry in the kidney area, fatally wounding him.

"We certainly respect the jury's verdict," Greer said.

Contract staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.