Greene County

UPDATE: Convicted Lilleild killer denied motion to reopen case

Karen Howell had petitioned the court

Convicted killer Karen Howell, jailed as a teen for the murders of the Lillelid family in 1997 in Greene County, TN, has been denied a chance to have her case reopened.

A hearing was held Friday morning in Greeneville to consider the case of Howell, who recently penned a letter asking for forgiveness from the Lillelid family while asking the judge to reconsider her life sentence.

Her attorney had said a recent Supreme Court ruling that called juvenile life sentences unconstitutional could impact her case. Howell was wanting her case reconsidered in order to trigger a post-conviction hearing, according to court officials.

A federal appeals court refused to hear an appeal from Howell in 2013. She cited in her complaint that she received ineffective council during her trial.

Howell and five others were convicted 20 years ago for the execution style murder of Vidar, Delphinia and Tabitha Lillelid of Knox County, TN. The family had encountered the suspects at a Interstate 81 rest stop and then drove them to a side road where they were shot.

The couple's son Peter survived the shooting.


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