Third man convicted in murder case

April 25, 2000

From The Jackson Sun and AP reports

SAVANNAH, Tenn. - A third man charged in the stabbing death and decapitation of a Hagerstown man was convicted Tuesday of facilitation to commit voluntary manslaughter.

cont. from front page

A Hardin County Circuit jury deliberated about 3 1/2 hours before finding Cory N. Smith, 23, guilty of the facilitation charge in the death of Paul Farrar. Sentencing was set for May 18. Smith could be sentenced to up to four years.

He and two others, Brian Justin and Timothy Creasy, had been indicted on first-degree murder charges in the death of Paul Farrar.


Creasy pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Justin was convicted of facilitation of second-degree murder and is awaiting sentencing. He could face eight to 12 years in prison.

A fisherman found Farrar's body, decapitated and weighted with concrete blocks, in White Oak Creek on Aug. 14. His head has not been found.

Evidence in the case included a samurai sword.

Farrar had moved from Hagerstown to live with his uncle in Saltillo less than two months before his murder.

Creasy testified Monday about events that led to Farrar's death, according to The Jackson Sun newspaper.

Riding in the back seat of a Chevrolet station wagon, a drunk Paul Farrar shouted to Justin, the car's 220-pound driver, that he could "whip him," Creasy testified.

Farrar, who had been drinking beer since he finished a roofing job at 2 p.m. that day, repeated his threat to Justin.

"Chill out," Creasy, who was the front seat passenger, testified he told Farrar.

A short time later, Farrar bled to death on a road after he was stabbed in the neck with the handle of a broken whiskey bottle.

Creasy gave that account during testimony in Smith's trial Monday, adding that Smith, the car's fourth passenger that night, did not play a part in Farrar's death.

Prosecutors had contended that Smith, of Saltillo, lied to a passerby who saw the group on a rural road shortly before Farrar's death.

Assistant District Attorney John Overton argued that Smith told the passerby, "OK, no problem here, we're just trying to sober this man up."

Smith's attorneys called Creasy to the stand Monday before Circuit Judge C. Creed McGinley recessed for the day.

In their opening statements Monday, Smith's attorneys said prosecutors had no evidence to charge him with first-degree murder.

"Cory Smith is an innocent man, wrongly accused," said Steve Milam, a Lexington attorney.

"This has been a nightmare for" Smith, Milam said.

A key witness for prosecutors, Chris Carpenter, an agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, testified Monday that he had gathered no evidence to show Smith played a part in Farrar's death.

In a statement Smith gave Carpenter on Aug. 15, Smith said he "never hit (Farrar), touched him with the sword, nothing."

Another witness, Robert Russell, who stumbled on the group just before Farrar's death, said Smith wasn't the man who told him Farrar was OK.

As he was driving home on a rural road near Saltillo, Russell said he encountered a car facing him with its headlights on.

Prosecutors asked Russell if Smith, seated next to his attorneys, was the man who said Farrar was OK.

"No, that don't look like the man I was talking to," Russell said. He said the man who approached him was "bigger."

Farrar died of trauma to the neck, according to his autopsy. He was stabbed on the road where Russell encountered the group, as evidenced by a 52-foot blood trail that trickled down the road, Carpenter testified.

Creasy testified that Justin, who said "there ain't gonna be no fighting in my car," stopped and he and Creasy got out and began beating Farrar.

"I guess I hit him a few times while he was down," Creasy said.

Justin had been drinking from a half-gallon bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey and used a broken part of the handle to stab Farrar in the neck, Creasy said.

Creasy and Justin put Farrar on top of the car and dumped him in a field, he said. Smith remained in the car the entire time, Creasy said.

The three returned to Farrar's body that night, and Justin used a samurai sword he brought from his house to cut off Farrar's head, Creasy said.

Farrar had several stab wounds in his abdomen and chest and a 17-inch vertical gash along his stomach, where he was disemboweled, according to his autopsy.

Prosecutors alleged Farrar's head was cut off so that he couldn't be identified.

Police identified him by his tattoos.

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