- Associated Press - Friday, May 12, 2017

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A man charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of a woman on a Knoxville greenway has been found guilty.

News outlets report that 26-year-old Timothy Dwayne Ison was convicted Wednesday in the 2015 slaying of 42-year-old Stefany Fairbanks. Sentencing proceedings began Thursday morning. Jurors will determine if Ison will be sentenced to life in prison without parole or become eligible for parole in 51 years.

Prosecutors are seeking life without parole, citing the “random” nature of the stabbing, as justified by Tennessee law. Ison and Fairbanks did not know each other. Defense attorney Susan Shipley has said the legislature included no definitions or guidance on what makes a killing “random.”

Prosecutors plan to call five witnesses in the sentencing phase. Shipley says her presentation will take an hour.

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