Man Avoids 1st Degree Murder Charge, Despite Confession

A Tullahoma man escapes a possible life in prison sentence after Coffee County jurors fail to convict him on 1st degree murder charges. Michael Curtis, age 51, was found guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter in connection with the November 2012 beating death of Kayla Qualls, age 23. Prosecutors originally charged the man with 1st degree murder, but jurors convicted the man on the lesser charge after hours of deliberation and the threat of a hung jury. Investigators say Curtis and Qualls argued over the discipline of her 2 young children at his General Street home. He confessed to beating the woman to death with a baseball bat. Her body was found in her car by hunters outside Estill Springs. Curtis was the grandfather of Qualls’ 2 children. Curtis faces a sentence range from 3 to 16 years. He should learn his prison fate in December.

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