Triple Murder In Hixson

Mother, 13-Year-Old Daughter, 6-Week-Old Son Found Dead

Tuesday, May 03, 2005
At murder scene. Click to enlarge.
At murder scene. Click to enlarge.
- photo by Brent McDonald (See video on Channel 9)

A Hixson man on parole for murder has been charged with killing his wife, 13-year-old stepdaughter and 6-week-old son Monday.

Police Chief Steve Parks said Tony Pope, 36, on Tuesday morning confessed to the gruesome murders.

He said there was "extensive trauma" to the three victims.

They are Andrea Pope; her daughter, Brianna Justice; and young son, Christian Pope.

According to an affidavit, Andrea Pope had talked of getting a divorce, angering Pope who said they had been married until death do us part. Mrs. Pope had planned to leave with the children Monday night. Relatives called to ask about her and Pope first said she left with a friend. Later, he said she was in the laundry room (where her body was found). The affidavit says he struck his wife several blows with a hammer, then grabbed the 13-year-old and choked her to death before kicking her in the chest. He then went to the baby's crib and strangled him. He put the baby's body back in the crib and struck it a blow with his hand.

Before leaving the residence, Pope cut the phone lines and put a towel over an outside light with a sensor on it.

The incident happened in a brick duplex at night at 1208-B Helena Drive in Hixson.

Chief Parks said police were called about 10:30 p.m. to check on the wellbeing of the residents. He said an officer looked in the window and saw Mrs. Pope lying on the floor bleeding from the head.

The SWAT team was called to the residence, but it was found that Pope had already fled the scene.

Chief Parks said there was an extensive manhunt throughtout the night. He said Pope was arrested without incident about 7:30 after he showed up at work at the East Chattanooga Lumber Co. on Crutchfield Street off Amnicola Highway. He had apparently stopped there to tell his boss he was headed to Florida. The employer persuaded him to stay, giving police time to arrive.

Pope has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife. Chief Parks said charges will be lodged on the death of the children after the medical examiner's report is back.

Pope is being held at the County Jail.

Chief Parks said Pope was charged with the Feb. 7, 1995 death of his girlfriend on McDonald Drive in East Ridge.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Oct. 4, 1995, and was given a 15-year prison sentence. Pope claimed the girlfriend, Susan Yarbrough, was coming after him with a knife when he beat her to death with a frying pan.

Pope was released from prison in October, 2001.

Chief Parks said the state has issued an emergency revocation of his parole.

Chief Parks said the killings involved "domestic-related issues."

On why Pope went to work, the chief said, "I just think he wanted to talk to somebody."

Of his early release from prison, Chief Parks said it is frustrating "for officers who put it on the line to apprehend these individuals. There was one murder, and now there are four murders. We would hope after the first murder, the offender would be taken out of the community for a long time."

Pope was convicted of assault on another woman in 1993. He was given a suspended sentence.

Pope is due to appear in General Sessions Court on May 11.

Pope was initially paroled to Alabama where his parents lived, then he moved back to Hamilton County.

Some 15 counselors were on hand to help with students at Hixson Middle School. Students decorated Brianna's locker.


Family Makes Treasure Trove Of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available For Book; Stokes Collection Has Been Passed Down To Descendants

A treasure trove of Chattanooga photographs that have been passed down in the Stokes family for generations has now been assembled in an upcoming book. Chattanooga Around The Turn Of The Century: The Remarkable Stokes Collection will be published by Chattanoogan.com. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which includes over 700 photos on large-size pages. Publisher ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BALLARD, ANTHONY MONTREL     2401 S CHAMBERLAIN AVE.#2 CHATTANOOGA, 37404     27     Chattanooga          VIOLATION OF PROBATION (DOMESTIC ASSAULT) BEAN, BO     HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA,     42    ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Earns Senior-Night Soccer Victory

Honoring the team’s nine seniors was a focus of Tuesday night’s girls’ soccer match at Notre Dame, but it wasn’t the top priority for the Lady Irish. They knew that a win over visiting Signal Mountain would secure a first-place finish in District 7-AA, and their mission was to earn it. Notre Dame did just that, making Emma Higgins’ early goal stand for a ... (click for more)

UTC Men's Hoops: Brooks Savage, Alex Wharton Promoted

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball program is promoting two staffers, pending University approval, coach Will Wade announced Tuesday. Brooks Savage and Alex Wharton are moving into new roles in the wake of assistant coach Turner Battle leaving to take a similar position at UAB. Savage takes Battle’s place as a full-time assistant after ... (click for more)