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Despite pleas from victim, Governor grants clemency to hit man in '94 murder-for-hire case

In a Friday news conference, Gina Sanjines says she objects to the notion that the man convicted of trying to kill her should be granted clemency. (Images: WTVC/TN Dept. of Corrections)

On his last day in office, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced he will let a convicted murderer get out of prison early.

Jeremy Ingram was convicted of a murder that rocked Hamilton County in the '90s.

The decision came moments after an emotional plea from Gina Sanjines, a woman who he shot three times in the head.

She says she's worried for her safety and her family's. Ingram killed her boyfriend and almost killed her.

John Madewell was in Nashville Friday with the latest.

To this day, Gina Sanjines is blind in her left eye.

Her ex-husband Jorge Ariel Sanjines, who orchestrated the $10,000 murder-for-hire with Ingram, was sentenced to life plus 25 years.

Ingram was commuted to parole supervision in one year.

Read more about the case below.

PREVIOUSLY:

Late Friday morning, Governor Haslam commuted Jeremy Ingram's sentence.

A release from the governor's office says: "Jeremy Michael Ingram’s life sentence for his 1995 murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and attempted murder convictions in Hamilton County were commuted to parole supervision beginning January 17, 2020, to last for the remainder of his sentence. Ingram, who was 18-years-old when the crimes were committed, will be subject to additional supervision conditions. He has undergone a transformation during 25 years of incarceration, earning four higher education degrees and actively participating in rehabilitation and faith-based programs and earning the respect of numerous volunteers and prison officials."

This is a developing story and will be updated.

PREVIOUSLY:

The man convicted in a 1994 murder-for-hire plot that left one man dead and a woman shot three times in the head has asked outgoing Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam for clemency, according to Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston's office.

Gina Sanjines, the woman who survived the shooting, held a news conference Friday to express her strong opposition to Jeremy Ingram's release.

"My biggest worry isn't for me and my family ... it's for the citizens of the state. A murderer is going to be let out of prison." -Gina Sanjines

Watch the full news conference below:

Ingram was convicted in 1994 for taking $10,000 to murder Sanjines in her home. He was hired by Dr. Jorge Ariel Sanjines, Gina Sanjines' ex-husband. The couple had spent the last two years in a bitter custody battle over their children.

Ingram was planning for Sanjines to be alone. But a man Sanjines was seeing at the time, Virgil Schrag, was also in the residence. Ingram shot and killed Schrag, and also shot Sanjines, who survived three shots to her head.

The murder and attempted murder shocked the NewsChannel 9 viewing area when it happened almost 25 years ago. Many people were surprised such a violent act took place in such an upscale neighborhood.

Ingram was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to life in prison. Dr. Sanjines and Amy Marcum were also convicted in the case.

Dr. Ariel Sanjines pleaded guilty in 1995 to first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. However, in 1999, an appellate court overturned the attempted murder and conspiracy charges, citing prosecutorial misconduct. He is still behind bars, and will be eligible for parole on September 17th, 2026.

Dr. Sanjines' girlfriend, Amy Renee Marcum, pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit murder and was convicted in 1995. She finished her sentence in 2002.

By law, Pinkston's office notified Gina Sanjines and her family when Ingram asked Governor Haslam for clemency.

In an email, Pinkston's office says "Ms. Sanjines is extremely distraught at the possibility she could run into Mr. Ingram, the man who stood over her as she slept and fired three shots into her head, if he is released from prison."

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District Attorney Pinkston says he spoke for about 20 minutes with Governor Haslam's chief counsel Thursday night for about 20 minutes. Pinkston says this isn't a case where prosecutors misused evidence, or a case of mistaken identity. He shared Gina Sanjines' opposition to Ingram's release.

Pinkston's office provided letters objecting to clemency from Gina Sanjines and her two children, who were 5 and 6 years old at the time of the murder.

Read all three letters below:

Letter from Gina Sanjines:


Letter from Alexander Sanjines:

Letter from Arianna Sanjines:

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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