KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — On Friday, a Chattanooga man was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting a father while his children were having a water balloon fight in Knoxville, according to the Knox County District Attorney’s Office.

Ralphelle Antre James. (Knox County Sheriff’s Office)

A release from DA Charme Allen’s Office said that Ralphelle Antre James, 49, was convicted of second-degree murder, unlawful possession of a weapon by a violent felon, and reckless endangerment.

James’ trial lasted 5 days, and during that time, prosecutors told the jury that on May 20, 2021, Knoxville Police responded to a shooting at a housing development off of MLK Avenue, where the community was having a children’s water balloon game.

The DA’s office said during that game, James started yelling at the victim’s child for coming into the apartment to fill up water balloons because it was “interrupting James’ drug dealing.” The victim then yelled at James to leave his child alone, leading the two to argue before the victim walked away. A few minutes later, James crossed the parking lot, and approached the victim before shooting him twice and killing him, the release says.

“This senseless act of violence left a child without a father and a wife without a husband,”
said DA Charme Allen. “During the National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims on
Monday, we will remember this victim and all victims of violent crime.”

According to the DA’s Office, Based on James’ criminal history, he is facing a sentence of 25 to 40 years for the second-degree murder count and 12 to 20 years on the weapon count.

His sentencing is scheduled for November 2, where he will face 25 to 40 years in the Tennessee Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole.