The mother of a Nashville nurse who was stabbed to death in her Wedgewood condo last year, spoke directly to her daughter’s killer during his sentencing Thursday morning.
Christopher McLawhorn was found guilty of murdering 23-year-old Tiffany Ferguson last month. He was found guilty of five charges against him and will have an automatic life sentence for the murder charges.
Thursday’s sentencing was for the especially aggravated burglary charge and misdemeanor theft charges against McLawhorn in the case. He received 12 years for the aggravated burglary charge and 11 months and 29 days for the two misdemeanor charges.
“You are such a coward,” Vaughan told McLawhorn. “A coward to take my child’s life as she is sleeping in bed, hurting no one. Such a coward. I feel so sorry for your family.”
Ferguson’s family and friends filled the courtroom for his sentencing. They wept as both Tiffany’s mother and sister spoke.
“My oldest daughter is now scared of the dark,” said Tiffany’s sister Molly Cox. “For the longest, she asked if someone was going to come kill us. Her closet has to be closed and we have placed three nightlights in her room, so she can rest. She draws pictures of angels with brown hair and names them Tiffany.”
In his pre-sentence statement, McLawhorn wrote, “All I can say for now is I have to live with this every day and not a day goes by I don’t think about the effects it’s had on the victim’s family and my family as well.”
McLawhorn wrote that he was on drugs and alcohol at the time of the crime and wasn’t himself.
“I let it destroy my life, as well as others. I still have trouble processing that any of this is even real. As a child, I never saw myself growing up to be in this situation.”
McLawhorn writes that he is fighting his conviction.
“I feel I was done wrong to be given two life sentences for one murder and also I feel it was unlawful to convict me of first-degree premeditated when it was not at all even close to that,” McLawhorn wrote. “My family, lawyer and myself feel I have a good fighting chance on my appeal. I’ll leave it at that.”
McLawhorn entered Tiffany Ferguson’s apartment three times the morning of February 28, 2017, to steal various items. He picked her apartment because the door was unlocked.
When he went in the third time, Tiffany woke up and he stabbed her to death.
At the time of her murder, Ferguson worked as a nurse at St. Thomas.