Prosecutor Wants Jury To Visit Remote Montlake Mountain Sinkhole At Stewart Murder Trial

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

After a Monday morning hearing, the man charged with the third murder in Soddy Daisy’s history is set to go to trial next Tuesday. In a rare move, the prosecution requested that the jury be taken to visit the scene of the crime.

Keith Lee Stewart was accused of murdering 24-year-old Casey Burgiss in July 2012. According to police, Stewart gave several different stories when he was questioned before finally leading them to the body. The body was hidden in a place known as “Devil’s Pocket,” a sinkhole off of Montlake Mountain that was approximately 600 yards from Stewart’s home.

Prosecutor Cameron Williams said that it would be hard for the jury to get a correct idea of the location of the murder, as the photographs do not depict the expanse of the scene. He said, “You can’t understand how big this place is, how difficult it is to get down in there unless you’re able to see it.”

Detective Dennis Waters said he called Stewart in for questioning after he received several reports stating that Stewart was involved. Detective Waters said that at first Stewart told him that he and Burgiss were taken by three black men and that Burgiss was shot in a parking lot.

After more questioning, Detective Waters said Stewart admitted this story was false. Detective Waters said Stewart then said he and two other men, Jason Doss and Lebron Lewis, lured Burgiss to Devil’s Pocket to rob him.

Detective Waters said that in one version of the story, Stewart claimed that Lewis shot Burgiss, but in another, he said that it was Doss. Doss and Lewis have both denied involvement.

If convicted, Stewart faces life in prison. His attorney, public defender Ardena Garth, said, “I think he may understand the seriousness as we get closer to trial.”


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, BARRY MALONE  207 SPEARS AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37405  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- AUSTIN, VICTOR JAMES  226 COUNTY ROAD 806 WHITEROCK, 35966  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton ... (click for more)

Woodmore Elementary On Half-Day Schedule Tuesday

Due to the air conditioning unit being down, Woodmore Elementary School will operate on a half-day schedule, Tuesday.  Parents have been notified by the principal through a BlackboardConnect message.  Buses will run the morning routes as normal but school will dismiss at 12:30 p.m.  Buses will run at 12:30 p.m.  Car riders and walkers will also be dismissed ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Is Right On The Muslim Threat

Sheriff Hammond is exactly correct on the Muslims in Tennessee.  He sees with clear eyes the problem with the Muslims in our state and country.  They do want to take over Tennessee.  Our politicians are selling us down the river and allowing the trouble makers to dig in like tics and suck out the life's blood of our Constitution and take us over.  They ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My September Garden

As we begin the annual pilgrimage into fall, I walk through my garden and, in the spirit of Orchids and Onions, I see colorful mums starting to flower at the same time dried-up weeds are begging to be pulled. So as we turn the calendar to September, here are some things that catch my eye: A COLORFUL MUM to Chattanooga State for unveiling the Michael Hennen Hospitality Center in ... (click for more)

Jumper, Ex-Baylor Star, To Start For Vols Against Bowling Green

When 25 th -ranked Tennessee plays Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, former Baylor School standout Colton Jumper will be the Vols’ starting middle linebacker. The 6-foot-2-inch, 227-pound Jumper played at Baylor for coach Phil Massey and recorded 251 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 22 sacks, two interceptions, caused five fumbles, recovered two ... (click for more)

County Schools Waiting On Report On Condition Of East Ridge High Stands

County school officials are awaiting a report from city of East Ridge inspectors on the condition of the concrete football stands at East Ridge High School. Lee McDade, assistant supt., said maintenance of the stands is up to the county schools. The concrete stands are currently roped off. The concrete complex includes a lower area with coaches' offices and player dressing ... (click for more)