Knox County District Attorney General - Charme P. Allen

Murderer Sentenced to Life in Prison Plus Twelve Years

Posted: 02/21/2020

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s Major Crimes Unit obtained a sentence of life plus twelve years for one of two men who murdered a woman and shot two other victims during a robbery.  Elijah L. Bowman, III, 20, and Amir Hassan Spears, 20, were convicted of First Degree Murder, Especially Aggravated Robbery, and Aggravated Assault.  Bowman was also convicted of two counts of Attempted Second Degree Murder.  Judge Scott Green imposed a life sentence on the murder count for each defendant and stacked an additional twelve years in prison on top of Bowman’s life sentence.

In a four-day trial in December, Assistant District Attorneys Hector Sanchez and Larry Dillon explained to the jury that on January 28, 2018, Knoxville Police Department Investigators Charlie Lee, Chas Terry, and Jason Booker responded to a call at a residence on Western Avenue.  Their investigation revealed that Bowman and Spears used Snapchat to set up a drug deal intending to rob the victim of half a pound of marijuana.  Bowman was in the residence conducting the drug transaction when Spears approached the front door with an AR-15 assault rifle.  Spears was met by one of the surviving victims at the front door, and Spears fired his rifle, causing Bowman to pull his 9mm handgun and shoot another surviving victim.  A female resident ran for cover in her room, shut the bedroom door, and was shot through the door, killing her.  Bowman and Spears collected eight ounces of marijuana, $25,000 cash, and a different AR-15 before fleeing the residence.

Bowman and Spears were sentenced to life in prison on the First Degree Murder count, meaning they must serve at least fifty-one years in prison before they can meet with the parole board.  Bowman must serve an additional twelve years in prison once he completes his life sentence.

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or  For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



City County Building 400 Main Street
Suite 168
Knoxville, TN 37902