A 25-year-old Tennessee man pleaded guilty to reduced charges that he lured two gay men to a house where a friend shot and killed one of them. Timothy Chad Canady pleaded guilty on Wednesday in Knox County criminal court to facilitation to commit felony murder and two counts of attempted aggravated
robbery. Canady was sentenced to 40 years in prison but will be eligible for parole in 2018. In return, he will testify against codefendant Joshua Eugene Anderson, 22.
Assistant district attorney general Phil Morton said Anderson actually shot Sampson Jonathan "Mickey" McGhee, 32, twice in the chest and fired repeatedly at George England in the December 2003 attack. Authorities aren't sure why Canady and Anderson went to an area England described as "the gay block" of Knoxville, but they believe it was either to rob gay men or that they sought a sexual liaison that turned sour. Anderson was married at the time.
McGhee's family was satisfied with Canady's sentence but didn't comment further because of the first-degree murder and felony murder charges pending against Anderson. England testified he and McGhee met Canady and Anderson at an adult book store in an area he described as a place men could go to find potential male sexual partners. The four men met at a house, talking for about 30 minutes before England and McGhee decided to leave. Canady and Anderson blocked the men's path out,
according to England, and Anderson pulled a gun, demanding money.
England said McGhee "got kind of hotheaded" and Anderson shot him twice in the chest. England panicked, locking his keys in his car, and ran away from the scene. McGhee died before help arrived, while England hid on a stranger's porch.
Court records show that Canady's plea deal may have been motivated in part by attorney Gregory Isaacs's motion to suppress a confession Canady later gave to police. According to the motion, Canady asked for an attorney, but the interview continued despite that request.