Sequatchie County, Tenn., woman charged in stabbing death of husband

Sequatchie County, Tenn., woman charged in stabbing death of husband

October 18th, 2017 by Ben Benton in Breaking News

Jerri Sanders

Jerri Sanders

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

A Sequatchie County, Tenn., woman is behind bars on allegations she stabbed her husband to death during an argument.

Jerri Lynn Sanders, 44, is being held at the Sequatchie County Justice Center without bond on a charge of criminal homicide in the Tuesday stabbing death of her 61-year-old husband, John Wayne Sanders, at a home just north of Dunlap on Branch Road, Sequatchie County Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock said Wednesday.

She was on probation from a conviction for having used a knife on her husband before, officials said.

John Sanders called Sequatchie County 911 dispatchers around 6:15 p.m. CDT saying he had been stabbed, Hitchcock said.

When deputies got to the home, they found Jerri Sanders sitting in the front yard smoking a cigarette. She told the deputies she had stabbed her husband, the sheriff said.

The deputies had to break into the home because John Sanders was locked inside, Hitchcock said.

"They had to make entry to get inside to him, he was brought to Sequatchie Erlanger here in Dunlap and they called Life Force and flew him out to Chattanooga," Hitchcock said.

John Sanders sustained a steak knife wound to the upper abdominal area "which penetrated the spleen and he died on the operating table at Erlanger [hospital] in Chattanooga," he said.

Hitchcock said Jerri Sanders had cleaned the blood off of the steak knife and put it back in the kitchen sink.

Jerri Sanders appeared in Sequatchie County General Sessions Court on Wednesday where she was appointed legal representation, the sheriff said.

Twelfth Judicial District Assistant District Attorney Steve Strain said Sanders is on probation for a conviction on previous charges leveled against her for cutting her husband with a knife on May 20, 2016.

Sequatchie County Circuit Court officials said Sanders was sentenced in December 2016 to six years in prison with conditions that she serve 12 months in jail and the balance on probation.

Strain said the last time Sanders left her husband with a slicing-type wound to his forearm, but he was forgiving.

"He was the victim, but they were married and he wanted to be with her," Strain said. He said John Sanders didn't want the judge to order his wife to stay away from him.

Tuesday's charges could violate Sanders' probation, Strain said.

"A probation violation is being filed and should be signed tomorrow," he said.

Sanders' next hearing is set for Oct. 30, officials said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at

This story was updated Oct. 18 at 11:30 p.m. with more information.