Send a Message
to Roman3

Comments

177

Joined

Apr 18, 2013

Roman3 Profile

Forums Owned

Recent Posts

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

DEATH or DEAL “Cost is also an unavoidable issue. Separate trials would cost more than six times one trial.”- Judge James Beckner The defense filed a motion for a change of venue based on prejudice as well as a request for separate trials for each defendant. The D.A. didn’t want this, knowing that the defendants were all going to “point the finger” at the real killer, Jason Bryant, and thus spoil the prosecutions’ chance to collar all of the “evil Satanists”. They had encouraged the media to see them not as individuals, but as a group and that’s exactly how they wanted them tried. Predictably, they got their wish as the Judge denied both motions. Furthermore, the prosecution made it clear that they were seeking the death penalty against the 4 adults (Dean, Crystal, Natasha and Joe) and the stiffest possible sentence for the minors (Karen and Jason). It looked like a stacked deck was being played against, so when the defense attorneys were offered a controversial plea bargain (legally unprecedented) at the last minute they eagerly snatched up. The deal stated that if they all plead guilty to 1st degree murder and waived their right to a trial then the D.A. would not seek the death penalty. But they ALL had to agree to it. If any one of them pleaded not guilty then the deal was off and the dissenter could possibly be responsible for the deaths of the other 3 co-defendants. The defense attorneys, convinced that this would be the best bet for their clients and not wanting to fight what appeared to be a losing battle, encouraged them to sign and sign quickly because time was running out fast (would you want these guys representing you??). Under intense pressure the 6 defendants all relented and took the deal. The Judge gave them the harshest sentence available to him under the law- life WITHOUT possibility of parole.  (Apr 23, 2013 | post #109)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

THE MEDIA FRENZY: “My Attorney, Eric Conn, counseled me as to what to say. He told me to specifically address these issues of ‘Satanism’”. – Natasha Cornett (in her testimony). The six defendants were tried and convicted long before they’d even had so much as a preliminary hearing. They were extradited back to Tennessee in the weeks following the murders. The court of public opinion in Greeneville, stirred to near-lynch mob mentality by the wildly exaggerated claims of “Devil-Worshipping , Baby Killer Teens” screaming out at them daily by the local media, gathered at the local courthouse to vent their anger at the defendants upon their arrival. The television cameras captured the spectacle as the mob shouted threats and hurled abuse at the shackled youths as they were led inside. In the weeks and months that followed the newspapers and tabloids fed a steady diet of misinformation to the public. Unfounded rumors about satanic rituals and sacrifices were allowed to spread unchecked and thus were burned into the public consciousness. A local business even went so far as to decide that ALL were unquestionably guilty and hung 6 hangman’s nooses from their sign overlooking the busy interstate. This image of course made the nightly news and further fanned the flames of fear. There appeared to be no way that the defendants could get a fair trial under these emotionally charged circumstances. So instead of fighting what seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle, Natasha Cornett’s legal counsel decided that the best chance of saving his own client was to play up the media’s satanic angle in order to foster an “insanity” defense. Tales of Natasha’s alleged allegiance with the Devil began to leak to the ever-hungry media. Natasha, having no experience with jurisprudence, went along with her attorney’s advice much to the consternation of her friends and family back home, who were appalled. Soon her image as an evil, Devil worshipping daughter of Lucifer was cemented into the public psyche to an irreparable degree. The plan ultimately backfired and her attorney was removed from the case by Judge James Carter. But as stated before, the damage was already done. The failed insanity defense attempt cost ALL of the defendants dearly as they were now seen as a mini-cult of Satanists and the Lillelid murders as their ritual sacrifice to the Devil, rather than a senseless murder committed by a single, violent young man with a documented history of antisocial behavior.  (Apr 23, 2013 | post #108)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

ON THE ROAD: “I was afraid that Jason would freak-out and just kill all of us.” – Karen Howell They drove along for awhile, Jason now insisting that they change their destination from New Orleans because people back in Pikeville knew that that was where they were headed. He insisted on Mexico because the cops “wouldn’t be able to get him there.” They eventually stopped at a Waffle House to eat. Jason asked Natasha to read him the menu. When asked why he replied that he couldn’t read it, so Natasha complied. When the food arrived he was asked “How can you fuckin’ eat after you just killed somebody?” Jason shrugged and replied “I don’t know.” At this point a group of policemen entered the restaurant. Jason instructed the others to stay calm and exit the restaurant two at a time. They left without incident. The next stop was at a mini mart. Natasha and Karen went to the bathroom, where Natasha expressed concern over Jason’s threats to kill Dean. She was afraid he would make good on this threat if she left and began to devise ways to talk him out of it. Karen remembers: “Natasha told me what Jason had been saying about wanting to kill Dean and that she was trying everything she could to stop him. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid to call home to my parents. I mean, a gun was taken from my dad’s house and those people were shot with it.” When they exited the bathroom Jason suggested that they rob the mini mart. He reported that there were two women behind the counter inside and that he could beat them to death. Crystal protested and Joe said that he thought it was a bad plan and that it “didn’t feel right” there, so the idea was scrapped. They eventually made their way into Arizona and crossed over into Mexico. Jason was in the back seat trying to reload one of the guns when it went off. Karen, who was sitting directly in front of Jason, believed he had shot her until she heard him yell that he’d shot himself in the hand and leg. His wounds were bound with strips of clothing. They were stopped at a checkpoint and turned back to the border for not having the proper identification paperwork. Once there the border police did a scan of the license plate, which revealed an all-points bulletin regarding the murders. The six youths were arrested at gunpoint and taken into custody.  (Apr 23, 2013 | post #107)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

-continued- What happened next has several versions. All have testified that Jason piled into the van, laughing about what had just transpired. Some have Joe laughing as well. Natasha testified that Jason stated “That little girl looks like she just got fucked! She’s all sprawled out!” and laughed about it. Karen remembers him saying that Vidar was “jerking” and Delfina was “speaking in tongues” and that he had to shoot them “all over again.” As they were driving away Joe suddenly made a sharp turn to the right and ran over the Lillelids’ bodies. Joe testified later that it was accidental, but Natasha, Karen and Crystal all thought he’d done it on purpose, testimony which would seem to contradict the prosecution’s contention that they were all trying to save each other by pointing the finger solely at Bryant.. As they sped off Jason began playing with the radio, saying “I need to hear Marilyn Manson.” Natasha testified that she “wasn’t all there,” indicating that she was in a state of shock. She kept saying to Dean “This isn’t real. Why did he do it? Dean, talk to me…I think I’m going crazy.” But Dean was silent, seemingly unable to process what just happened. Karen went into a near catatonic state and withdrew into herself (her typical reaction when faced with stress). Crystal was crying soundly, saying “This isn’t real…you didn’t just kill them…” to which Jason replied “Shut the fuck up! Or you’ll end up just like them!” Later on that night Jason crawled into the back seat next to Natasha and told her “In a couple of hours this won’t even bother you.” Natasha testified that she replied “I wish that were true.” Then he began whispering about wanting to kill Dean, Crystal and Joe. *This testimony regarding the spacing of the shots fired is consistent with that of Mark Gaby, a construction worker who was nearby and heard the gunfire.  (Apr 23, 2013 | post #106)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

THE MURDERS: The van pulled to the side of the road and everybody was ordered out. Dean and Crystal pulled up as the Lillelids gathered near a ditch. At this point Jason began expressing his concern to the others that the Lillelids would go to the police and that he would be arrested for violating his parole among other things. Vidar attempted to reassure him and the others that he wouldn’t tell the authorities and that they were free to have whatever they wanted. “Just please don’t harm my family,” he said while offering his wallet. Jason took it and convened with Joe. According to testimony the following exchange took place: JASON: “What do you think we should do? Should we let them go? Or you think we should kill ‘em?” JOE: “I dunno man, what do you think?” JASON: “I think we should kill ‘em.” NATASHA: “No, don’t. Jason let’s just fucking go.” JASON: “No, I won’t let them go cuz they’ll call the cops on me!” DELFINA: “No we won’t. I won’t be able to identify your face. Or any of you.” At this point Jason walked over to the Lillelids and Joe handed Natasha a gun, stating “I can’t do this,” and walked away. Natasha put the gun down and stepped in between Jason and the Lillelids. She attempted to get Vidar to let her have the children so they wouldn’t be harmed, but Vidar refused to allow his family to be separated. “If we die they’ll only be dead anyway” he is reported to have said. Natasha then turned on Jason, who was pointing the gun at the terrified family. JASON: (to Natasha) “Get the fuck out of the way!” NATASHA: “Promise me you won’t hurt the kids.” JASON: “I said get the fuck out of the way!!” NATASHA: “Promise me you won’t hurt the kids first!” JASON: “OK, I promise you I won’t hurt the kids, now get out of the way!” KAREN: “Just let them get their stuff and go. They can walk.” Natasha went over to Karen, who stood by the van. Joe was inside while Dean and Crystal remained in the car. Suddenly Jason stepped up to either Vidar or Delfina(accounts differ) and began firing. They fell. According to Karen Howell’s sworn testimony he then walked straight up to the screaming Tabitha and fired a bullet into her brain. He then shot Peter. During the shooting both Natasha and Karen claimed to have seen Crystal covering her face and Dean ducking under the steering wheel of the car. Natasha and Karen piled into the van while Jason continued the carnage outside. The firing stopped and Jason ran back to the van, stating “They’re still fuckin’ alive!” and grabbing the second gun and proceeding back to the fallen family to finish them off. He fired several more shots and then returned to the van, gun still in hand*. He ordered everyone to get their personal belongings out of the car and load them into the van quickly, which they did. Joe pulled the license plate off his car to avoid detection and got into the driver’s seat of the van and started the engine. cont-  (Apr 23, 2013 | post #105)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

THE LILLELIDS: After driving for about an hour they pulled into a rest stop for a bathroom break. While waiting by the car Karen and Natasha were approached by Vidar Lillelid and his son, Peter. A devout Jehovah’s Witness, Vidar began a conversation about God and faith, to which the girls responded with little interest. Seeing that the Lillelids had a van, Joe and Jason suddenly took a keen interest in Vidar and his proselytizing. They were joined by Vidar’s wife Delfina and their daughter Tabitha and soon the group moved their conversation to a nearby picnic table. Sometime during the conversation Joe and Jason decided that they would kidnap the Lillelids in order to take their van, so Joe excused himself and went down to the car to grab one of the guns. Dean and Crystal, who were both in the car, were told that “something was about to go down” and to wait for his signal. He then proceeded back up to the picnic table. Joe approached the Lillelids, pulled the gun and put it on the table, telling them “I hate to do you this way. Nobody’s gonna be hurt, but we’re gonna need your van.” Jason also brandished a gun and the family was escorted from the table. As they approached the van, guns hidden from view, either Joe or Jason yelled at Dean and Crystal to start the car and follow. Delfina and Tabitha got into the van followed by Jason, Natasha and Karen while Joe got into the front seat with Vidar, who was ordered to drive. They pulled away from the rest area and onto the highway. Little Tabitha had been crying throughout the ordeal. In order to calm her in the van, Delfina began singing to her but was quickly ordered by Jason to “Shut the fuck up!” Natasha reassured Tabitha that nobody was going to harm her and told Jason to stop pointing the gun at her and Delfina as it was only scaring them. Vidar tried reassuring his family while talking with Joe and trying to get assurance that his family wouldn’t be harmed. Joe assured him that they would be fine and they drove on for several more miles before exiting an offramp and driving to Payne Hollow Road.  (Apr 23, 2013 | post #104)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

LEAVING PIKEVILLE: “The guns were for protection because she had been raped in Louisiana.” – Roger Burgess (Natasha’s father) “Natasha always said that she wanted to go back to New Orleans some day, but she wouldn’t go back unless she had a gun because she wouldn’t be raped again.” – Madonna Wallen Karen Howell woke at 9am like they had planned and found everyone still asleep. She promptly went back to bed, assuming that all the talk about leaving Pikeville was “Just talk.” At 9:30 she was awakened by Jason and told to “Get everyone up.” After getting showered and ready they all piled into Joe Risner’s beat up Chevy Citation. Natasha had told Karen earlier on that they were going to need a gun for protection as she had been raped the last time she was in New Orleans, so they drove to see a friend who had a pistol, which he gave her. Karen’s father had a gun as well so they drove over to her home, where Jason kicked open the gun cabinet and took several knives belonging to Karen’s father. Karen took the gun plus $500 she’d earned from her babysitting work. When they got to the car Jason demanded the gun from Karen, which she handed over to him. The next stop was Jason’s house to get some of his personal things. As they pulled up Jason told Natasha that he would kill his father if he tried to stop him. Natasha followed him into the house and witnessed the altercation between Jason and his father. Mr. Bryant threatened to call Jason’s parole officer if he tried to leave, to which Jason defiantly replied “Go ahead” and reached into his back pocket as if for the gun. Natasha convinced him that they had better leave and quick if they were to make a clean break out of Kentucky. Jason agreed and they made haste to the car. As they pulled away a few of them expressed concern at the condition of the car, worried that it wouldn’t last the long trip in one piece. Jason claimed to know how to hotwire cars and Joe suggested that they could steal a van at a mall somewhere along the way. They eventually spotted a used car lot along the way. Joe pulled over and lifted the hood of his car as a diversion. When the salesmen were busy Jason broke the window of one of the vans in the lot and attempted to hotwire it. After several failed attempts the plan was aborted and they left, confident that there would be other opportunities to steal a van.  (Apr 23, 2013 | post #103)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

THE NEXT DAY: When they awoke around 4 pm the next day Jason made a call to find a ride home. When he hung up he informed everyone that the cops had his and Karen’s names attached to the Colley Motel incident. Natasha took Karen aside and suggested that they both get out of Pikeville and soon. Natasha had nothing to keep her there (she and her mother had been fighting with increasing regularity) and she wanted to keep Karen from getting in trouble with the law. That night they all went up to a local party spot known as “40-acre field”, where several teens had already gathered and started a bonfire. Once again Jason Bryant was in an ugly mood, talking about murdering everyone at 40-acre field. Karen specifically remembered him saying he “Wanted to beat everybody to death with the flashlight he’d stolen from the van at the Colley.” At one point he brandished the flashlight as if to bludgeon two other partygoers whom he knew Natasha disliked. According to eyewitness testimony she grabbed his arm, at which point he shouted “What the fuck are you doing!?” and raised his arm as if to strike her, but decided against it. Later that evening Natasha expressed to the others her idea for getting out of Pikeville in order to escape prosecution for the Colley Motel incident. She suggested they go to New Orleans as she’d been there before and knew the general layout of the city. The others agreed that it sounded like a good plan and that they would leave at 9:00 the following morning. According to Karen, Natasha talked of stealing a truck parked at 40-acre field to use in order to get to New Orleans, but that it was “Just talk.”  (Apr 23, 2013 | post #102)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

Here's something I put together after doing months of research on the case. It's based on court records, evidence, sworn testimony, etc. For whomever is interested: THE COLLEY MOTEL: Two nights before the murders the six defendants decided to rent a motel room to party. Their first choice, The Daniel Boone Inn, had no available rooms so it was decided that they would go to the Colley Motel. They rented a room, acquired some alcohol, lit candles and Natasha and Karen proceeded to cut themselves with razor blades. Karen testified that she and Natasha secretly planned that they would cut themselves and then hopefully pass out and then die from loss of blood. Sometimes when cutting Karen said that they drank each other’s blood because “It was like a ‘blood sisters’ thing or something. It brought us closer together as friends.” Jason Bryant showed up with a friend, Jimmy Ratliff, and stated that they had just come back from trying to break into a liquor store. Jason was in an agitated mood. In her testimony Natasha said she asked him what was wrong, to which he curtly replied “Nothing”. When pressed he stated that he “was pissed-off and wanted to kill somebody”. Karen remembers “He was talking about wanting to stab someone. Also about wanting to break into each room trying to find someone to stab.” He proceeded to finger a knife and give hard looks at Dean, Natasha’s boyfriend, whom he was jealous of. He later reiterated that he wanted to “go into one of the other rooms to kill somebody” and even suggested they drive over to Natasha’s house to kill her mother. In her testimony Natasha stated (and Karen concurred) that they went outside because they felt sick and needed air. Jason followed and took Natasha aside after which Karen testified that she went back inside*. Natasha testified to the following exchange: Jason: “You know that I could kill you.” Natasha: “You wouldn’t” Jason: “Try me.” Natasha: “If you want to fuckin’ kill me, go ahead. I don’t care.” Jason: “No, I think I’ll just go kill your geeky boyfriend instead.” Later in the evening things began to get out of control. Karen remembers Jason “acting kind of like a lunatic.” He began to vandalize the room and in fact broke into several rooms and vandalized and stole property. At one point Jason broke into a van that was parked in the lot. Inside he found beer, chewing tobacco and a large flashlight, which he promptly took. The party ended in the early hours of the morning. They headed to Wal-Mart, where Joe and Jason stole rings for Karen and Natasha. They then headed for Natasha’s home, where they talked a bit and then went to sleep. More later.  (Apr 23, 2013 | post #101)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

My interest is that a miscarriage of justice took place and several people were intimidated into signing a plea bargain (one that had no legal precedent and would have been thrown out had these legal shenanigans had taken place in California or Massachusetts). I have helped the director locate a few people for interviews and given her some research I've done. I'm not a producer or someone with a monetary interest, if that's what you're asking. Huffine the investigator? Why, is he doing a documentary?  (Apr 23, 2013 | post #100)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

I could not agree with you moreThat's understandable. Many do, especially considering the avalanche of misinformation that was constantly put out there by the media when this event happened; misinformation that continues to mar this case. If you read the numerous threads out there you'll see that people STILL believe all the discredited rumors: that they were a "satanic cult", that this was a "ritualistic killing", that they all took turns shooting and "laughed while doing it", that the bodies were "arranged in the shape of a cross", ad infinitum. There is a documentary being made that is in its final stages and that will directly address the facts vs. fiction. Hopefully people will have a more balanced view of the event afterward.  (Apr 23, 2013 | post #97)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

I didn't mean "You" as in MystDefy. I was speaking more along the lines of a hypothetical "you". Apologies :-) I guess I should have written "one could argue" rather than "you could argue" so that it would have been more clear.  (Apr 22, 2013 | post #86)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

*Bryant Karen Howell testified to this as well. Now you can dispute it and say that she was only trying to save her friend, but then that begs the question of why, if "saving" her friends by perjuring herself was the goal, did she say that Joe Risner (her BOYFRIEND) ran over the bodies on purpose? That is not the testimony of someone who is trying to save her friends. She basically put Joe on death row with that statement. Howell was a very credible witness and the prosecution knew it.  (Apr 22, 2013 | post #84)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

That's not true. Natasha Cornett stood in front of the Lillelids and made Jason Bryant (who was pointing a gun and shouting for her to "get the f**k out of the way!!") promise not to hurt the children. He finally relented, promised he wouldn't, then when she moved away he started blasting. That is from the testimony of the others. Bryany refutes this, of course.  (Apr 22, 2013 | post #83)

Greeneville, TN

Documentary on The Lillelid Murders

Not really. When and where? When she was crying hysterically after the Lillelids were shot (everyone testified to this) Jason Bryant told her that he would murder her if she didn't "shut the f**k up!" Being that she just saw him gun down an innocent family in cold blood, I imagine she took his threats very seriously. "I don't know if you've ever been so scared that you couldn't act." --Crystal Sturgill  (Apr 22, 2013 | post #82)