Murder Charges Dropped Against Ragland In Timothy Bumpass Murder

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Murder charges were dismissed on Tuesday morning against Devante Lavon Ragland, 19, who was arrested a week ago in connection with the murder of 37-year-old Timothy Bumpass.

Defense attorney Rich Heinsman said Ragland had no prior criminal record. He said the state apparently had some witness problems in the case.

The dismissal was "without prejudice" meaning that the charge could be refiled.

Murder charges were bound to the Grand Jury on Friday against two others - Kristopher Bell and Christopher Jennings - charged in the Jan. 12 killing at 4800 Swan Road.

Ragland had been charged with felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, and criminal conspiracy.

Attorney Heinsman said there are no holds on him and he would be released after the dismissal in General Sessions Court.

At the hearing on Friday, Brandon Bell and his 14-year-old brother were reluctant witnesses against Kristopher Bell and Jennings.

There was testimony that Bumpass was a drug dealer. Detective James Plumley said a black bag containing a substantial amount of marijuana was found in the trunk of the victim's 2002 Cadillac.

Brandon Bell said on the night of the murder  his brother called while using Jennings' cellphone asking for the number of "Hollywood." He said he looked on his brother's cellphone that was in the bedroom they share and found the number.

The younger brother, who was 13 at the time of the incident, said when he got home about 9:45 p.m. he found Kris Bell, Jennings and Ragland all at the house. He said he spotted a revolver in a clothes hamper.

He said another time that night he saw Ragland walking with Jennings behind him.

The younger brother said "Hollywood" at times would come over for visits.

Demetrice Williams, girlfriend of Bumpass, said he was friends was Kris Bell. She said they were watching a football game that night when he got a text message from Bell saying he had carried out a $14,000 robbery and needed to buy $1,300 in marijuana.

She said , "We didn't think that sounded like Kris Bell. We kind of laughed about that."

The witness said she dozed off, then awakened at midnight and saw that Bumpass had not been to bed. She said she tried to text him, but got no answer. She said she wrote, "I just woke up, baby. I'm really scared."

Ms. Williams said the fact that Bell is among those charged "was really a shock. They had done a lot together."

Kyle Rodriguez said he was driving by Lakeside Youth Sports Park around 10 p.m. when he saw a male dragging a body away from a Cadillac. He said a second male was nearby.

Detective Plumley said the victim's body was found in nearby woods. He said some of his clothes had been pulled off and they were found along a trail to British Wood Apartments, where the Bells live.

He said the victim had been shot 4-5 times, including once in the right eye.

The driver's side window was shattered and there was blood on the driver's seat and door. His empty wallet was in the glove compartment. His jewelry and cellphone were missing.


Many Waldens Ridge Scenes Featured In Stokes Picture Book

A number of early views of Waldens Ridge are among the rarities found in the Stokes Photo Collection. There are many photos of the roads up the mountain showing streetcars, wagons and early autos. There are scenes at Rainbow Lake, Falling Water Falls, Signal Point and other scenic spots. Several photos are included of the Signal Mountain Hotel. The more than 700 photos ... (click for more)

Corker Urges U.S. And Other Nations To Accelerate Efforts To Stop Ebola Outbreak In West Africa

Senator Bob Corker issued the following statement on Tuesday, after speaking with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah about the U.S. response to Ebola in West Africa. “As we address this problem, the most important thing for us to do is to contain and stop Ebola in West Africa, and for that reason, I talked with Administrator Shah to receive ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)

Mihaescu, March Win Region 3-A/AA Cross Country Titles

The weather wasn't quite as nice as it was last week, but it was still sunny and warm on Tuesday afternoon for the Region 3-A/AA cross country championships, which were held on a flat course at Camp Jordan in East Ridge. Sequoyah senior Danielle March was the female winner as she toured the 5K course in 21 minutes, 46 seconds to win by almost a minute over KiAnna Queener, ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Defeats East Ridge 7-1 In Soccer Semi

The Boyd-Buchanan girls’ soccer team has already made history this season, but coach Todd Ledbetter’s Lady Bucs are hungry for more. After winning the school’s first district title last week, they moved a step closer to another championship with a Region 3-A/AA semifinal victory at home on Tuesday. Boyd-Buchanan, the 5-A/AA champion, defeated District 6 runner-up ... (click for more)