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Stephen Lynn HUGUELEY





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: 1986 / 1991 / 2002
Date of birth: January 2, 1968
Victims profile: Rachel Waller (his mother) / An inmate / Delbert Steed (correctional counselor)
Method of murder: ??? / Stabbing with homemade knife
Location: Tennessee, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on August 19, 1986. Sentenced to life in prison on February 13, 1992. Sentenced to death on September 16, 2003

Supreme Court of Tennessee


State of Tennessee v. Stephen Lynn Hugueley


The Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee


Stephen Lynn Hugueley v. State of Tennessee


Stephen Hugueley was sentenced to death in 2003 for stabbing a prison counselor at Hardeman County Correctional Center. He used a homemade knife, stabbing him 36 times until the knife broke. Hugueley had killed before: his mother in 1986 and then a prison inmate in 1992. He tried to take the life of another prisoner in 1998.


Stephen Lynn Hugueley was convicted in September 2003 of the murder of a counselor at the Hardeman County prison where he was being held on a life sentence for the murder of his mother in 1986 in their home.

He had also received a life sentence in February 1992 after the murder of an inmate in the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning.

On January 17, 2002, Delbert Steed, a correctional counselor at the Hardeman County Correctional Facility, entered F pod to counsel inmates. At that same time, Hugueley also entered the pod, approached the table where Steed was sitting, and stabbed Steed in the back.

As Steed fell to the floor, Hugueley continued stabbing him. Another correction officer working on pod control called a Code One, requesting assistance. The pod officer opened the pod door and told Hugueley to stop. Upon hearing her command, Hugueley raised up, and came towards her with the knife drawn back like he was going to stab her, so she shut the door. Hugueley then returned to stabbing Steed.

Another officer then entered the pod and ordered Hugueley to drop his weapon. In response, Hugueley stabbed one or two more times until the handle broke on the knife; then he stopped. Finally, Hugueley complied with the officer's order and dropped to the floor.

By this time, other officers and medical personnel had arrived. After surveying the area, they observed a pillowcase on the floor that appeared to have something inside it. They also saw that the weapon used to stab Steed remained lodged in his back, but the weapon's handle lay near the shower wall.

An internal affairs investigator with the Tennessee Department of Correction was contacted as a result of the incident. By the time the investigator arrived at the scene, Delbert Steed's body had been removed to the infirmary.

However, at the crime scene, the investigator observed that the weapon removed from Steed's body was a quarter-inch rod that had been sharpened to a very fine point on one end and was almost eleven inches long. Also, the pillowcase observed at the scene was actually a torn piece of a sheet that had D cell batteries in one end.

An internal affairs investigator with the Department of Correction was contacted to interview Hugueley at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution later that day. Before conducting the interview, the investigator had Hugueley acknowledge his rights and sign a waiver form, documenting his willingness to talk.

In his statement, Hugueley admitted that he and Steed had never gotten along. Steed had been stabbed a total of thirty-six times. Hugueley stated that he intended to kill Steed and had purposefully aimed for his vital organs, "the heart and the lung."

The wounds to Steed were comprised of ten to the chest, one to the abdomen, fourteen to the back, and eleven to the arm. Of the thirty-six wounds, twelve were lethal in and of themselves. Hugueley added that, had his weapon not broken off in Steedís back, he would have killed a lot more people that day. Hugueley further stated that he has no remorse for his actions.

At trial, Hugueley took the stand in his own defense and admitted to killing Steed. Hugueley waived his right to present any mitigation evidence. Hugueley was previously convicted of the first degree murder of his mother in 1986 for which he received a sentence of life imprisonment.

In 1992, he was again convicted of first degree murder; a fellow inmate was the victim. Finally, in 1998, the defendant pled guilty to attempt to commit first degree murder of another inmate. The weapon used in the 1998 offense bore similar characteristics to the one used to murder Steed.


Stephen Lynn Hugueley



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