Before a Hamilton County Criminal Court judge sentenced Walter George Glenn to 35 years for the stabbing death of a teenager he considered a stepson, Glenn apologized but claimed he acted in self-defense.
The 38-year-old Glenn's testimony in his Monday sentencing hearing prompted prosecutor Matthew Rogers to confront the man who said he didn't fear 17-year-old Carlton Braswell, but still used a weapon when the teen had none.
"Say what you did, Mr. Glenn," Rogers said.
"I defended myself," Glenn replied.
"Did you stab a 17-year-old boy with a knife? Is it that hard to say?" Rogers said.
But Glenn wouldn't budge, arguing that saying anything more wouldn't help.
Rogers said after the hearing that he felt the Braswell family deserved "some sense of a sincere apology."
"I don't feel like he did that," Rogers said.
Glenn faced 25 to 40 years for his second-degree murder conviction in Braswell's death, which took place on Dec. 20, 2009. Glenn had dated the boy's mother for 16 years and the pair had another child together.
During Glenn's January trial, witnesses testified that Braswell crossed paths with Glenn near the teen's Southern Street apartment and asked the older man for a cigarette. Glenn refused and the pair argued and cursed at each other before parting ways.
Braswell went elsewhere and, when he returned, the pair again argued. That's when prosecutors say Glenn stabbed the teen. Braswell ran bleeding to his apartment and died soon afterward.
On the witness stand Monday, Robinette Doss, Braswell's mother, cried as she recounted coming down her apartment stairs to hear her son's last words as he slid on the floor in a pool of his own blood.
"My baby made it home," Doss said. "He hollered up the steps, 'Momma, (Glenn) got me. I'm gone.'"
But Glenn testified in Monday's hearing that the fight started because he was rolling a cigar filled with marijuana, also known as a blunt, and, when Braswell asked him to sell the drug to him, he said "no."
Glenn said Braswell got angry, took off his shirt and started fighting with him.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents found Glenn hiding in the crawlspace of a Nashville home two months later.
Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6347.
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...