KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The jury on Friday evening found Tyler Enix guilty of premeditated first degree murder in the death of his ex-wife Kimberly Enix after seven hours of deliberation. They also found him guilty of especially aggravated robbery.
He was found not guilty on three other counts: felony robbery, felony theft and felony kidnapping. Sentencing is scheduled for Monday morning at 9 a.m.
Kimberly Enix’s family says the verdict brings them closure.
“We’re real happy with the verdict. It was a little trying when we were listening. We went to the depths of despair but we were very pleased with the outcome,” said her uncle Charles E. Graham Jr.
Graham remembers his niece as a caring person, a dedicated social worker and a devoted mother.
“I guess Kim wants to be remembered for loving her children, her daughters. She didn’t have an easy life but Kim was a hard worker. She worked with battered women. She was in the social services field. It’s ironic she worked with battered women and ended up this way, but she had her day in court.”
Though nothing can bring her back, Kimberly Enix’s uncle says the guilty verdict is one step closer to closure.
“I feel like justice has been served,” he said.
The jury began deliberations just before noon on Friday. Thursday, Judge Steven Sword dropped a carjacking charge and reduced the charge of especially aggravated kidnapping to just kidnapping.
The main issue the jury had to decide was not if Tyler Enix killed Kimberly Enix, but if the murder was premeditated and planned out and if he had intent to kill. The defense argued that Tyler Enix was overcome by a fit of rage when he stabbed Kimberly Enix 47 times. Prosecutors say he planned to murder Kimberly Enix.
In closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney General Kevin Allen talked about the effort it takes to stab someone 47 times. Prosecutors also replayed taped recordings of the deteriorating relantionship between Tyler and Kimberly Enix. In one recording, Tyler Enix threatens to break Kimberly Enix’s neck.
“He didn’t care about anyone because anyone who cares cannot do something like this. He wanted to kill her,” said Allen. “If he lost control, he would have called 911 or tried to help her. But he didn’t lose control.”
Assistant Public Defender John Halstead said in the tape recordings Kimberly Enix was on her best behavior because she knew she was being recorded. Tyler Enix did not.
During closing arguments, Halstead said Tyler Enix’s life was spiraling out of control. He said Kimberly Enix was starting to move away and onto a new relationship and Tyler had nothing and was losing everything after their divorce.
“Tyler lost it emotionally and physically. There was no thought, just raging emotion… no plan to get away from this,” said Halstead. “There was no plan. No plan to clean the crime scene. He didn’t resuscitate because he knew she was gone.”
In rebuttals, Allen said the case is a classic example of domestic violence. He also alleged that Tyler Enix was faking his note log that was introduced into evidence.
“All 47 wounds were deliberate plunges. These weren’t slashes and Tyler didn’t sustain any cuts to himself,” said Allen. “He took time to iron his clothes before he left as Kim was upstairs dead.”
The state will aski the jury to sentence Tyler Enix to life in prison without the possibility of parole.