Brandon Russell Gets 20 Years In Meco Siler Murder

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Brandon Eugene "Big Baby" Russell pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder and was given a 20-year prison sentence.

It will be serviced consecutively to an eight-year aggravated robbery conviction. Russell was on probation on the robbery at the time of the murder in January 2011.

Charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery were dismissed.

Russell, 32, appeared before Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern.

A witness earlier told Chattanooga Police he saw Russell kill a woman at a 20th Street motel.  Joseph Fields, said he saw "Big Baby" punch Meco Siler in the face, put her in a choke hold, then pull a knife and stab her in the neck.

Ms. Siler was found beaten and stabbed to death at the Country Hearth Suites after housekeeping found an unresponsive woman in Room 233. The 29-year-old victim was pronounced dead on the scene by Hamilton County EMS. 

Police said when they arrived at the scene they found Ms. Siler lying face down on the carpeted floor. They said she had stab wounds.

Police said they were advised that around 8 a.m. two black males were seen leaving Ms. Siler's motel room. Police received a tip that someone named Joe had told someone else that he witnessed "Big Baby" carry out the murder. Police later found that "Joe" was Joseph Fields. Fields then gave officers a statement.

Fields said Russell initially told him he was going to rob Ms. Siler. He said Russell stole drugs from Ms. Siler and threw them out of the room. Fields said he retrieved them and took them to his room.

He said minutes later a frantic "Big Baby" came to his motel room, asked where the drugs were, and then fled. He said "Big Baby" left his keys and key chain behind, but not the key to his car.

Investigators showed Fields a photo of "Big Baby" and he identified him as Brandon Russell.

Ms. Siler's three children were at school at the time. She had lived at the extended-stay hotel for the past several months. Fields also lived there.


County Officials To Be Sworn In Tuesday Morning At Convention Center. Eric Watson Sworn In Sunday

The Swearing In ceremony for elected Hamilton County Officials will take place Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Convention Center. Among those to be taking new posts will be Rep. Vince Dean as Criminal Court clerk, former prosecutor Steve Smith as public defender, and County Commissioner Larry Henry as Circuit Court clerk. Neal Pinkston is the new district attorney. New to the County ... (click for more)

Rep. Vince Dean To Leave House Seat Early

Rep. Vince Dean will be leaving his House District 30 House seat early to start his duties as Criminal Court clerk. His effective retirement date from the Legislature is Aug. 31, County Commission members were told. It will be up to the County Commission to name a replacement until the election for the post in November. East Ridge City Councilman Marc Gravitt is the only ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)

Central Michigan Comes From Behind To Beat UTC 20-16

Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush passed for 173 yards and two scores to lead the host Chippewas to a come-from-behind 20-16 win against Chattanooga Thursday night in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. UTC (0-1) led 16-0 in the second quarter only to have CMU score 20 straight points for the win in the season opener for both teams. "Our defense played well and played hard, but ... (click for more)

Santiago No-Hits Smokies

Starting pitcher Andres Santiago no-hit the Tennessee Smokies (32-34) to lead the Chattanooga Lookouts  (32-32)  to a 1-0 win and propel them into sole possession of first place for the first time this season.  The no-hitter was the Lookouts’ first since June 1, 1996 when Travis Buckley threw one against the Huntsville Stars. Santiago was lights out since the ... (click for more)