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: BAILEY, CORDARRIUS DEQUAN  1612 TRUMAN AVE EAST RIDGE, 37412  Age at Arrest: 18 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County CONTEMPT OF COURT (VIOLATION OF COMMUNITY PLACEMEN --- BELL, RONALD KEITH  631 DOGWOOD DR THOMSON, 30824  Age at Arrest: 38 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton ... (click for more)

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda: I. Call to Order. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Gilbert). III. Minute Approval. IV. Special Presentation. “Mediation Awareness Week Proclamation” By Councilwoman Carol Berz V. Ordinances – Final Reading : (None) VI. Ordinances – First Reading : POLICE a. An ordinance to amend Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Chattanooga's Citizens Are The Best

Today, when I finished my shift, my wife and I had a rare kid-free time where she and I could enjoy a nice quiet dinner. So, when I left my extra job and she left her job, we met at a neat local place in St. Elmo. She and I had been looking forward to and planning this dinner all day. You see, between my work with the city of Chattanooga, my many hours of extra jobs, and our responsibilities ... (click for more)

My Garden In October

Just when you thought the weather would never break, the heat was on low this morning as Tide and I stepped from the house to study our October garden. Falling leaves and the dog’s dirty tennis balls aside, let’s praise the Lord that, as a new month dawns, we are still blessed with orchids and onions galore. The dog asks that I include the fact October is National Pet Adoption month ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Demolishes Soddy-Daisy 62-7 In Homecoming Blowout

Ooltewah exploded for 31 first-quarter points, kept the pedal to the metal and steamrolled Soddy-Daisy 62-7 Friday night in a Region 4-5A football whuppin’ that left the Trojans shaking their heads and the Owls celebrating an eye-popping homecoming triumph at James N. Monroe Stadium. It was Ooltewah’s sixth straight win against the Trojans and the average score in those games ... (click for more)

McCallie Routs Baylor, 42-7

McCallie’s high-powered offense – averaging 45 points in its four wins prior to Friday night - is as good as advertised and it’s defense –allowing only 23 points in those four victories - is rock solid. Just ask Baylor. Thanks to a clicking-on-all-cylinders offense led by senior quarterback Robert Riddle - 181 passing yards and three touchdowns – and a defense with three ... (click for more)