Woman Who Claimed Self-Defense Charged with 1st-Degree Murder

by Xara Aziz
Memphis Police Department

A Tennessee woman has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder after she was suspected of shooting and killing a man at a Memphis gas station, according to reports.

On May 7, Memphis Police Department said Teneler Mathis was the driver in a black Cadillac and drove into a Marathon gas station shortly after 10am. She then exited the vehicle with a weapon in her hand while a passenger exited and switched seats with the suspect, according to an affidavit.

Surveillance footage captured the suspect walking up to the victim named Jeremy Henry, then shooting him in the back. In the video, the victim is seen falling to the ground as she proceeds to strike and kick the victim, police say.

A physical exchange ensues between Mathis and Henry. She then enters the vehicle and flees the scene.

Henry succumbed to his wounds. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police say Mathis told investigators that Henry attacked her first, so she shot him in self-defense, but the affidavit says the video surveillance shows otherwise.

According to FindLaw, a subsidiary of Thompson Reuters, first-degree murder in Tennessee can carry a possible death penalty. “Tennessee law considers two main types of killings to be first-degree murder: intentional, planned ahead killings as well as felony murders, or murders committed during a violent felony. The prosecutor needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt both the murder and the lack of lawful justification,” according to data on its website. “Even if a person isn’t found to have committed first-degree murder, the defendant may be found guilty of a lesser murder charge, including second-degree murder (intentionally killing without thinking about it beforehand), voluntary manslaughter (murder under the influence of a sudden passion), or reckless or criminally negligent homicide (an accidental killing caused by the defendant’s recklessness or gross negligence).”

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