MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Jurors in Rutherford County on Tuesday found Jacob Pearman guilty of murdering his wife Carla at their home in Murfreesboro on Valentine’s Day 2013.
Pearman was found guilty on all three charges he faced; first degree murder and aggravated assault and child abuse against Carla’s then 7-year-old son.
“I believe that justice was served in this case I couldn’t see any other verdict ,” Assistant District Attorney General J. Paul Newman said.
Pearman will likely serve life in prison for the first degree murder conviction.
The death penalty was removed from consideration because the aggravated assault and child abuse charges were tried at the same time.
Sentencing for the child abuse and aggravated assault convictions are set for March 2.
Pearman’s trial began last Tuesday, testimony concluded Saturday and the jury heard closing arguments Monday morning.
The prosecution had a videotaped confession that was shown to the jury in which Pearman admits he choked Carla to death while the two argued about the child abuse charges he faced. He was scheduled to appear in court on those charges just hours after Carla’s murder.
Several people who testified during the course of the trial said Carla told them she wasn’t planning to testify on Pearman’s behalf that day.
Pearman himself did not testify during the trial. His defense attorneys argued he was troubled, depressed and mentally ill.
Pearman sat emotionless as the verdict was read, which was quite different that he showed on multiple occasions during the trial. His family sat behind him and was visibly upset as the verdict was read and later walked out of the courtroom in tears.
His family did not speak to the media following the verdict.
“I believe the emotion of Mr. Pearman at this time has been stated,” attorney Luke Evans said. “He’s absolutely devastated.”
Carla’s family; however, breathed a sigh of relief as the verdict was read.
“We are all aware this is not going to bring Carla back, but we’re confident justice has been served today,” Carla’s brother Chris Parnell said. “It has been a long, grinding tenuous wait and my sister got to speak.”
Pearman walked out the courtroom surrounded by officers a few minutes later.
His layer said he plans to file a motion for a new trial.