Triple Murder In Hixson

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

Tuesday, May 3, 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.


Tennessee Supreme Court Holds That Police Officer Proved His Firing Was Retaliatory In Violation Of Law

The Tennessee Supreme Court reversed a trial court’s ruling against a police officer on his claim of retaliatory discharge under Tennessee’s Public Protection Act. The Court held that the officer had proven that the sole reason he was discharged was retaliation for his refusal to participate in or remain silent about the police chief’s illegal activity. Plaintiff Larry D. Williams ... (click for more)

Firefighters Respond To 2 Fires Sunday Night; 1 Being Investigated As Arson

Chattanooga firefighters responded to two fires on Sunday night. Firefighters were dispatched to a residential structure fire around  6 p.m.  at 618 Gillespie Road. Four fire companies arrived and found heavy smoke and fire coming from the second floor. Battalion Chief Rick Boatwright said the firefighters made an aggressive interior attack and found most of ... (click for more)

Dr. King Wouldn't Approve Of The Mayhem In Baltimore

I am mostly certain that Dr. King never meant for this kind of violence to happen.  I don't recall any of the protests he led not being peaceful.  He would most definitely not approve of people burning, looting, the complete and utter unnecessary mayhem, or anything like what happened in Baltimore. Do you really believe Dr. King would condone 8, 10, 12-year-old children ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Red Meat To A Mob’

The city of Milwaukee is among the Top 20 Most Violent in the United States. It ranks No. 4 in poverty for cities its size, and is home to the most “make sense” sheriff in the world. I spent most of my morning reading to find out more about Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke because his is a voice we should have been listening to some time ago. He startled all of us on Friday ... (click for more)

Lookouts Buxton Named Southern League's Player-of-The-Week

Monday, the Southern League announced that Chattanooga Lookouts’ outfielder Byron Buxton has been named its Player of the Week for April 27– May 3. The number one prospect in all of Minor League Baseball has been on a tear. Over his last seven games the outfielder has raised his average from .190 to .287 and has recorded a hit in each contest. During his hitting streak Buxton ... (click for more)

Vest Wins Cleveland Invitational In Playoff

 Hunter Vest shot 72 on Saturday and 68 on Sunday and won the 2015 Cleveland Country Club Men's Invitational at the Cleveland Golf and Country Club.   Vest finished in a tie at 140 with Scott Stevens and Taylor Davis, and won the championship in a sudden death playoff that lasted two holes.   David Watts finished at 144, followed by Adam Wright and Shea ... (click for more)