Susan Lynette Baker Murder Trial Set To Begin Jan. 23 In Dunlap

Graysville Woman Charged With Killing Cliff “Roddy” Carden With His Own Gun In 2010

Sunday, January 13, 2013 - by Judy Frank

Nearly two years after a 55-year-old Graysville man allegedly was killed for drugs and $1,000, the case against the woman who prosecutors say pulled the trigger will finally be unveiled in a Sequatchie County courtroom.

Trial is set for Jan. 24 for Susan Lynette Baker, 37, of 185 Hixson Road in Graysville.

Charges against her include felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, and setting fire to personal property and land.

She has been free on $150,000 bond since early 2010.

Ms. Baker is one of two suspects in the Feb. 2, 2010, murder of Clifford “Roddy” Carden, who earlier court testimony has indicated was a drug dealer.

On Feb. 8, six days after the murder, Whitwell resident Thomas Bettis approached Sequatchie County authorities and told them that Ms. Baker shot the victim with his own gun while he was giving her and Bettis a ride in his 1996 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

Bettis reportedly told police he helped Ms. Baker dispose of the body because he was afraid she might also kill him, according to testimony during a 2010 preliminary hearing.

Ms. Baker, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, fired the fatal shot, assistant district attorney general Steve Strain said at that time. He said Bettis, who was riding in the back, helped Ms. Baker dispose of the body, spend a sizable chunk of the $1,006 they stole from the victim at the Dunlap Wal-Mart, and then “shacked up with her” for several days at the Mountain Inn and Suites.

Ms. Baker, interviewed later, admitted shooting Carden, according to the prosecutor. However, he said, she insisted that the plan was to steal his money and the illegal drugs the victim had been planning to sell.

In court, neither of the defense attorneys denied their clients’ respective roles in the killing and subsequent robbery. But defense attorney Rob Philyaw, who was appointed to represent Ms. Baker, hinted at the strategy he will use to represent his client.

Isn’t it true, attorney Philyaw asked Investigator Joe Lockhart of the Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Department – the only witness to take the stand – that Ms. Baker told officers she had been subjected to domestic abuse by the man she killed?

“She said something like that,” the officer replied.

Officer Lockhart staunchly denied attorney Philyaw’s questions regarding whether Ms. Baker was under the influence of drugs at the time she was questioned – although he did acknowledge, under close questioning, that he had heard reports she went through withdrawal after being put in jail.

Public Defender Jeff Harman, representing Bettis, acknowledged that his client helped dispose of the dead man’s body by dumping it into the Sequatchie River under Pickett Bridge.

Later, he acknowledged, his client went to Walmart with Ms. Baker and then spent several days with her in the motel.

However, the attorney went on, Bettis was afraid to not do what Ms. Baker wanted because she kept the dead man’s gun with her at all times and he feared she would shoot him, too.

The two, who had been involved in an off-and-on sexual relationship for months, went their separate ways after leaving the motel, attorneys said.



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABERNATHY, BRANDY LASHEA  8874 DAISY DALLAS RD HIXSON, 37404  Age at Arrest: 25 years old Arresting Agency: Soddy Daisy Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- BAKER, LANESHA NESHAY  3301 PINEWOOD AVE APT 12 CHATTANOOGA, 37411  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

Man Seriously Injured After Being Struck By Train In South Chattanooga

A man suffered serious injuries after being hit by a train in South Chattanooga on Wednesday night. The train was traveling at low speed at the time. It was in the vicinity of W. 26th Street. (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (3)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Scream ‘Sexual Assault!’

Candace Owens, a communications director for the conservative non-profit “Turning Point,” wasted not a minute’s time as the Democratic debauchery of Supreme Court appointee Brett Kavanaugh raced like a prairie fire across America. There is little doubt that many politicians -- on either side of the aisle -- play a little loose with the truth. But this Eleventh Hour attack on the ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Beats Bradley Central, 3-0, For 12th Straight Victory

Bradley Central took East Hamilton, one of the better volleyball teams in Southeast Tennessee regardless of classification, to five sets in their first meeting on Aug. 15 in Cleveland. “So, Bradley is not a team you can underestimate,” Lady Hurricanes coach Bojana Hyatt said after her team’s 3-0 sweep of the Bearettes at East Hamilton High School. “They gave us a run for our ... (click for more)

Inspired Chattanooga Christian Sweeps Notre Dame

Chattanooga Christian and Notre Dame have built a really good rivalry in recent years, especially in volleyball. Notre Dame had the dominant team for many years before the two teams split regular-season matches a year ago. Chattanooga Christian has the upper hand in 2018 and clinched first place in the district on Wednesday night at Notre Dame’s Jack Steiner Gymnasium with ... (click for more)