Murder Charges Dropped Against Ragland In Timothy Bumpass Murder

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Murder charges were dismissed on Tuesday morning against Devante Lavon Ragland, 19, who was arrested a week ago in connection with the murder of 37-year-old Timothy Bumpass.

Defense attorney Rich Heinsman said Ragland had no prior criminal record. He said the state apparently had some witness problems in the case.

The dismissal was "without prejudice" meaning that the charge could be refiled.

Murder charges were bound to the Grand Jury on Friday against two others - Kristopher Bell and Christopher Jennings - charged in the Jan. 12 killing at 4800 Swan Road.

Ragland had been charged with felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, and criminal conspiracy.

Attorney Heinsman said there are no holds on him and he would be released after the dismissal in General Sessions Court.

At the hearing on Friday, Brandon Bell and his 14-year-old brother were reluctant witnesses against Kristopher Bell and Jennings.

There was testimony that Bumpass was a drug dealer. Detective James Plumley said a black bag containing a substantial amount of marijuana was found in the trunk of the victim's 2002 Cadillac.

Brandon Bell said on the night of the murder  his brother called while using Jennings' cellphone asking for the number of "Hollywood." He said he looked on his brother's cellphone that was in the bedroom they share and found the number.

The younger brother, who was 13 at the time of the incident, said when he got home about 9:45 p.m. he found Kris Bell, Jennings and Ragland all at the house. He said he spotted a revolver in a clothes hamper.

He said another time that night he saw Ragland walking with Jennings behind him.

The younger brother said "Hollywood" at times would come over for visits.

Demetrice Williams, girlfriend of Bumpass, said he was friends was Kris Bell. She said they were watching a football game that night when he got a text message from Bell saying he had carried out a $14,000 robbery and needed to buy $1,300 in marijuana.

She said , "We didn't think that sounded like Kris Bell. We kind of laughed about that."

The witness said she dozed off, then awakened at midnight and saw that Bumpass had not been to bed. She said she tried to text him, but got no answer. She said she wrote, "I just woke up, baby. I'm really scared."

Ms. Williams said the fact that Bell is among those charged "was really a shock. They had done a lot together."

Kyle Rodriguez said he was driving by Lakeside Youth Sports Park around 10 p.m. when he saw a male dragging a body away from a Cadillac. He said a second male was nearby.

Detective Plumley said the victim's body was found in nearby woods. He said some of his clothes had been pulled off and they were found along a trail to British Wood Apartments, where the Bells live.

He said the victim had been shot 4-5 times, including once in the right eye.

The driver's side window was shattered and there was blood on the driver's seat and door. His empty wallet was in the glove compartment. His jewelry and cellphone were missing.


Family Makes Treasure Trove Of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available For Book; Stokes Collection Has Been Passed Down To Descendants

A treasure trove of Chattanooga photographs that have been passed down in the Stokes family for generations has now been assembled in an upcoming book. Chattanooga Around The Turn Of The Century: The Remarkable Stokes Collection will be published by Chattanoogan.com. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which includes over 700 photos on large-size pages. Publisher ... (click for more)

Grand Jury No True Bills And True Bills

Here are the latest no bills and true bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: BEAN, TONYA MICHELLE W 20 F 0 1 GS 1548710 DOMESTIC ASSAULT BELL, TYRELL LOVELL B 20 M 0 1 GS 1497258 DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE aka MAINIACK BETTS, AUSTIN MICHAEL W 20 M 0 1 GS 1548754 POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA FOR RESALE BETTS, AUSTIN MICHAEL W 20 M ... (click for more)

Leaders Lead On Amendment 1

This week the Hamilton County Commission was faced with what I believe may be one of the most important votes they have cast during their tenure.  Granted, the vote was over a "mere" Resolution that resulted in no overt action or new law in our county.  But there are times when simply speaking Truth and taking a stand on a foundational Principle is paramount and as such ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Expert Reasons Why To Vote

Early voting for the November election begins two weeks from today so please jump-start your plans that will assure your choices will be counted. In a fun-filled attempt to show what some of those who actually vote do during the rest of the day, I offer two examples of “those who live among us” from experts. The first are a series of questions from readers of “Dear Abby” who ask ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Personnel Losses Boost Other 5-AAA Hoop Teams

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – East Hamilton’s loss has been solid gains for two other basketball teams in District 5-AAA and Ringgold, Ga. One of the Hurricanes’ top players, Kenny Bunton, left the program two days after Rodney English replaced fired Michael Stone and transferred to Walker Valley where he will play for coach Bob Williams’ Mustangs. “I took the job in March and two days ... (click for more)

John Shearer: Memories Of Watching 38 Baylor-McCallie Games

Back in the fall of 1971 when I was in the sixth grade at Bright School, I listened on the radio to the exciting football game between Baylor and McCallie schools, the first since the series had been discontinued after 1940. I was hoping to attend Baylor School as a student the next year, so I was quite excited that Baylor won, 9-7.  And the next year as a seventh-grader, ... (click for more)