††††††††††† Huntsville, TN (2008-12-08) Accused murderer and arsonist Gary Lemar Sellers has entered a guilty plea in Scott County Criminal Court in death of Melissa Chandler, the Oneida woman who died from injuries sustained in a residential house fire.† Sellers was sentenced to 24-years in prison.
††††††††††† Gary Lemar Sellers, 40, one of two persons accused of torching an Oneida home and causing the death of Melissa Chandler, entered a guilty plea Monday in Scott County Criminal Court.† Sellers pleaded guilty to the facilitation of second-degree murder and facilitation of aggravated arson.† Per the deal, 8th Judicial District Criminal Court Judge E. Shayne Sexton sentenced Sellers to twelve years for each count.† He further ordered the sentences be carried out consecutively; meaning Sellersí effective sentence was twenty-four years.† He will have to serve at least thirty-percent of his sentence, eight years, before he will be eligible for parole.
††††††††††† In May, Robert C. Bell, a co-defendant in the case, pleaded guilty to second degree murder and aggravated assault.† Bell was sentenced to twenty-five years.
††††††††††† On September 2, 2007, the home of Melissa Chandler burned to the ground.† While Chandler was dragged from the home, she later died from complications from injuries sustained in the fire.† An investigation revealed the fire was intentionally set.† Authorities allege the act was a hate crime, as Chandlerís husband had been arrested on child pornography charges just days before the fire.
††††††††††† Timothy Chandler is currently in Tennessee Department of Corrections custody, being held in the Scott County Jail on a probation violation.†