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National Briefing / Tennessee

Plea deal in church shooting

February 10, 2009|Times Wire Reports

An out-of-work truck driver smiled as he pleaded guilty to killing two people and wounding six others at a Tennessee church last summer because he considered the liberal church "a den of un-American vipers."

"Yes, ma'am, I am guilty as charged," Jim D. Adkisson, 58, told Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz before she sentenced him to life in prison without parole on two counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder.

Adkisson was scheduled to stand trial next month in the July 2008 rampage at the Tennessee Valley United Unitarian Church in Knoxville, but decided to enter a plea deal that virtually guarantees he will never leave prison alive.

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