Knox County District Attorney General - Charme P. Allen

Former Professor Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison

Posted: 08/23/2019

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s Domestic Violence Unit obtained a ten-year sentence against a former professor who beat and kidnapped his wife.  Jay William Edwards, Jr., 43, was convicted of Aggravated Kidnapping, Assault, Interference with Emergency Calls, and Domestic Assault.  Judge Bob McGee ordered Edwards to serve ten years in prison without the possibility of parole.

In a three-day trial, Assistant District Attorneys Danielle Jones and Sean McDermott explained to the jury that on September 14 and 15, 2017, Edwards, his wife, and their three-month-old son were at their home in Halls when Edwards began slapping, punching, and kicking his wife.  Edwards confined his wife in the laundry room of the home as he lectured her about not being a good wife.  The attack continued in the living room where Edwards took his wife’s cell phones, pointed a gun to her head, and asked if she wanted their son to grow up without a mother.  The victim was able to send an email to her sister in South Carolina who contacted E-911 in Knox County.  Knox County Sheriff’s Office Detective Donald Ferrell obtained an arrest warrant and took Edwards into custody.  The victim sustained bruises on her face, arms, legs, torso, and groin.  She also suffered a fractured rib.

At sentencing, prosecutors argued for an enhanced sentence based on Edwards’ prior criminal behavior.  Two of Edwards’ four ex-wives testified that he assaulted them during the course of their marriage.  The violence included beating one with a belt, burning one with an iron, and holding his second wife’s head under water.

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