Stewart To Serve 35 Years In Montlake Mountain Murder

Friday, December 6, 2013

Keith Lee Stewart pleaded guilty on Thursday to a murder on Montlake Mountain and was given a 35-year prison sentence.

He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery in the slaying of 24-year-old Casey Burgiss in July 2012.

It was handled as an Alford Plea in which the defendant admits there is enough evidence for a jury to convict.

The plea averts a trial scheduled for next week.

The prosecution had requested that the jury be taken to visit the scene of the crime should there have been a trial.

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.

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 would have faced life in prison. 


3rd Edition Of Popular Stokes Photo Book To Be Issued

With a second edition of the popular Stokes Photo Book selling out, Chattanoogan.com will publish a third edition of 1,000 copies. John Wilson, publisher, said, "We continue to get calls and emails inquiring about the availability of this remarkable Chattanooga photo collection. So we have asked College Printing at Collegedale to put the almost 600-page book back on the presses. ... (click for more)

Public Meeting On Proposed Zoning Change In Middle Valley Is Feb. 6

District 3 County Commissioner Marty Haynes announced Monday that he will host a public meeting to obtain further input and public feedback on the proposed zoning change for a commercial development near the intersection of Thrasher Pike and Middle Valley Road in Hixson. The public meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 6, at Middle Valley Church of God, which is at 1703 ... (click for more)

We Need The Chattanooga History Center

Having been on several of Dr. Daryl Black's walking tours, I can say that they weren't just informative, but a treat. The downtown, Fort Wood and Ninth Street of yesteryear were brought dramatically to life. We stood on the ground where Sherman had his headquarters (near the Ice Cream Show) and the corner where Bessie Smith sang as a young girl. And we also stood beneath the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Value-Added Friendship

I need to take you through the back door on this one because it is a story that my friend Sandy Pohfal just sent me from Texas. Sandy happens to know Dr. John C. Dealey, a business-consultant wizard in Dallas whose advisory councils have made folks a lot of money. In turn, Dr. Dealey knows a guy he’ll only refer to as “Raymond.” Of all the guys I just mentioned, you need to focus ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Earns State Duals Berth With 45-33 Win

The Notre Dame wrestling team is peaking at the right time. It's been an up and down season for the Fighting Irish and for the first time all year, they have a full lineup. And now they can start making plans for next weekend's State Duals in Franklin after beating East Ridge for the second time in three days. The Irish beat East Ridge by eight points on Thursday night ... (click for more)

Baylor Wrestlers Set to Defend State Duals Title

Ranked No.1 in this week's wrestling poll and boasting a 22-1 season dual match record, Baylor is the favorite to win the TSSAA D-II state duals this weekend at the Williamson County Ag Expo in Franklin. Friday Jan. 30 - Baylor opens with tourney against Brentwood Academy at 3:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals and a win puts them in Friday night semis (8:30 p.m. EST) ... (click for more)