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Life in prison for a Claiborne woman

From District Attorney General Jared Effler

Vanessa Ann Hurst - Claiborne County Jail

On February 25, 2019, Criminal Court Judge E. Shayne Sexton sentenced Vanessa Ann Hurst, Clairfield, Tn, to life in prison for the 1st degree murder of Hershel Gulley. A Claiborne County jury convicted Hurst of both 1st and 2nd degree murder in October of 2018 under alternate theories.


After a hearing Monday morning February 25, 2019, Judge Sexton sentenced Hurst to 19 years on the 2nd degree murder conviction, but pursuant to Tennessee law, that count will merge with the 1st degree conviction, which carries a mandatory life sentence in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Corrections.


Hurst will be eligible for parole after serving 51 years. Detective Brad Duncan prosecuted the case on behalf of the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office. At trial, the State of Tennessee was represented by District Attorney General Jared Effler and Assistant District Attorneys Graham Wilson and Matthew McClung.

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