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Man Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder in 2020 Shooting of University Student

Legal despair courtroom scene.

Man Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder in 2020 Shooting of University Student

On Tuesday, a man was sentenced for second-degree murder and sentenced to 27 years imprisonment for a fatal shooting incident that occurred in 2020. The victim was a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior who was attempting to protect his girlfriend during an alleged robbery.

The Accused Pleads Guilty

Israel Dedekuma Ackerman, 24, pleaded guilty in Hamilton County. The accused, previously charged with first-degree murder and three accounts of aggravated robbery and one count of attempted aggravated robbery, made a plea deal with state prosecutors to second-degree murder. Under the agreed deal, the additional charges were dropped.

The Incident

According to state prosecutors, the police responded to shots fired at a home at 810 E. M.L. King Blvd on March 19, 2020. Multiple people were inside the house at the time of the incident. The victim, Holman “Trey” Tanner III, 20, was shot in his face while protecting his girlfriend from a man who was then demanding cellphones and wallets. Tanner lost his life within seconds while people attempted to save him.

Apprehension of the Accused

After the unfortunate incident, two men reportedly fled the scene in a white sedan. Later, prosecutors confirmed that Ackerman’s mobile data and witness statements placed him near or at the crime scene. He was arrested along with his girlfriend in Lake County, Florida, in the subsequent months. It was discovered that Ackerman had been moving from state to state using fake IDs, allegedly in an attempt to evade law enforcement authorities.

Tanner’s Legacy

During the hearing, Tanner’s mother, Eileen Tanner, testified in the courtroom filled with Trey’s friends and family. She described her son as handsome, loving, and caring. She expressed her hope that Ackerman would make better choices in life and said she hopes to find the strength to forgive him someday. Trey was the only child of the family, and his loss resonated deeply with them.

Eileen Tanner recounted her last Thanksgiving with her son and how he and the family cared for Holman Tanner II, who was battling a severe condition known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. She shared that Trey took over the responsibility of looking after the family, following his father’s guidance.

She said, “I truly know Trey was there to welcome his daddy home.” Ackerman’s trial went through approximately 25 courtroom appearances before a verdict was reached.

The Co-defendant

Ackerman’s co-defendant Jacob Demoss also faces charges of first-degree murder in relation to Tanner’s death. Demoss is scheduled to appear before Judge Amanda Dunn on June 4.

For supplementary news reports, tune in to HERE News Network. HERE News continues to follow this case closely as the co-defendant awaits his day in court.

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