Randy Harr Sentenced To 29 Years In Prison At Hearing In Greeneville Monday
BY KEN LITTLE
A Hawkins County man who shot a Surgoinsville man to death in 2012 entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder Monday in Greene County Criminal Court.
Randy E. Harr, 51, of 503 Preakness Court, Kingsport, had been charged with first-degree murder in the March 20, 2012, shooting death of 36-year-old Christopher Varalli, of 478 George Allen Road. Harr, who is represented by Greeneville lawyer Louis Ricker, agreed to accept the second-degree murder plea.
Judge John F. Dugger Jr. sentenced Harr to a prison term of 29 years, at 100 percent release eligibility, meaning that Harr must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole.
The 29-year sentence Harr received is above the normal sentencing range for second-degree member, which Harr agreed to as part of the plea arrangement.
Alex Pearson, prosecuting assistant district attorney general, said Harr had conspired to kill Varalli and shot him "a number of times" with a .22 rifle, then set fire to Varalli's house.
A postal worker saw the fire and Varalli was rescued from the burning house, but later died of his wounds.
Harr was indicted Dec. 10 by a Hawkins County Grand Jury. He briefly made an appearance on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's "Top 10 Most Wanted" list.
Harr was taken into custody Dec. 13 by the United States Marshals Service at a campground in Gainesville, Fla., where he had reportedly been staying in a tent for a couple weeks.
Dugger, a Circuit Court judge, also presides over Hawkins County cases. Harr agreed to waive the venue to enter the plea in Greene County, where Dugger is hearing cases this month.
Harr had been scheduled for trial in February on the first-degree murder charge in Hawkins County.
"Considering everything, it's an appropriate resolution," Pearson said after sentencing.