Kingsport man convicted in 2004 slaying

By Hugh G .Willett

LOUDON - A Loudon County jury deliberated just more than an hour Friday afternoon before convicting a 54-year-old Kingsport man in the 2004 murder of Adwinna Pamela Hughes.

Gerald Davis Thomas' first-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence.

Hughes, 43, from Kingsport, was strangled, shot in the chest, abdomen and arm, suffered blunt force trauma to the head and then had her skin and muscle removed from her torso, according to testimony from Knox County Medical Examiner Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan.

Prosecutors speculated Thomas mutilated his victim's body to retrieve the bullets. One bullet removed from the body at autopsy was linked to a pistol that Thomas had when he was arrested.

The prosecution's evidence included a pair of jeans identified as belonging to Thomas stained with the victim's blood.

Authorities alleged Thomas killed Hughes in February 2004 in a wooded area off Eblen Road in Loudon County. The pair, along with another woman, had smoked crack before Hughes was killed.