McElhaney Faces Murder Charge After Running Over Another Man

Incident Happened Early Sunday Morning At East Ridge Flea Market

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Chattanooga man has been charged with first-degree murder after police said he ran over another man at the East Ridge Flea Market early Sunday morning.

Robert McElhaney Jr., 48, of Chattanooga, is charged in the death of James Payne, 44, of East Ridge.

At approximately 1:52 a.m., East Ridge Police responded to the Flea Market at 6723 Ringgold Road on a reported disorder. While officers were en route, dispatch advised that the disorder was escalating and a vehicle had hit someone.

When officers arrived, they found a white cargo van off an embankment with the driver injured. A second person was found under the van.

The driver, Robert McElhaney, was transported to Erlanger Hospital by Lifeguard EMS.

The second person, James Payne, was pronounced dead at the scene.

An extensive crime scene investigation led detectives to charge McElhaney with murder after the investigation showed that he had intentionally struck the victim with his vehicle.

Once released from the hospital, he was transported to the Hamilton County Jail on a charge of first-degree murder and is being held without bond.

A court date has been set for Tuesday at 5 p.m. in East Ridge Municipal Court.

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