Knox County District Attorney General - Charme P. Allen

Defendant Sentenced to Life Plus Thirty Years

Posted: 12/13/2021

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s Major Crimes Unit obtained a sentence of life plus thirty years against a defendant who lured the victim to a drug deal in order to execute him.  Phillip Jerome Locke, 32, was convicted of First Degree Murder, Especially Aggravated Robbery, Carjacking, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Dangerous Felony, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.  Judge Steve Sword sentenced Locke to serve life in prison on the First Degree Murder count and ordered another thirty years in prison consecutive to the life sentence for the Unlawful Possession of a Firearm count.

In a four-day trial in October, Assistant District Attorneys Kevin Allen and Hector Sanchez explained to the jury that on October 29, 2017, Knoxville Police Department Investigator Tim Riddle responded to a homicide at 900 Baker Avenue.  At the scene, officers found that the victim had been shot multiple times in the head.  The subsequent investigation revealed that the victim and Locke knew each other because the victim was friends with Locke’s brother.  A few months earlier, Locke’s brother was murdered in a shooting, and Locke began to suspect that the victim was somehow responsible.  Locke then lured the victim to meet under the guise of a drug deal.  Locke convinced the victim to drive him to Baker Avenue.  Once on Baker Avenue, Locke shot the victim in the head three times.  Locke then went to the driver’s seat, removed the victim from the car, and left him in the street.  Locke got in the driver’s seat of the vehicle and drove over the victim while fleeing from the scene.

“Dangerous, violent offenders who have so little regard for human life deserve to spend the rest of their lives in prison to make sure others in our community are not victimized,” said DA Charme Allen.

In Tennessee, life in prison means the defendant must serve fifty-one years in prison before he can meet with the parole board.  Locke has seven prior felony convictions including three convictions for Aggravated Robbery, three convictions for Attempted Aggravated Robbery, and one conviction for Possession with Intent to Sell Cocaine.

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

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Knox County Tennessee - District Attorney General Seal
City County Building 400 Main Street
Suite 168
Knoxville, TN 37902