Man Listed As Suspect In Murder Of Monroe County Election Commissioner Gets Reduced Sentence In Drug Case For Aiding Government

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A man who authorities have identified as a suspect in the July 2010 murder of Monroe County Election Commission Chairman Jim Miller was given a reduced sentence in Chattanooga Federal Court on Thursday due to his help to the government.

Brandon "Rooster" Steele, 35, was sentenced by Judge Curtis Collier to serve 135 months. His original sentencing range had been 188-235 months.

Attorney Paul Bergmann said Steele gave valuable help in connection with the one conviction thus far in the Miller murder. Jessica Kennedy was found guilty and given a 22-year sentence. 

The slaying happened outside a meth house on Creek Road at Sweetwater, Tn., that authorities said was so notorious that it was known as "Hell's Kitchen." 

Jim Miller was shot three times in the head and his body was placed in the trunk of a car. It is not known why he was at "Hell's Kitchen." 

Steele acknowledged that he began living on the property in September 2012 and he sold meth to over 100 individuals over a wide area. He said he also cooked meth with a number of individuals.

Attorney Bergmann said, with Steele's help, an additional 10 people were indicted on drug charges.

He also said Steele went to Monroe County to testify in an aggravated assault case. He said the individual wound up pleading guilty and got an eight-year suspended sentence.

For his actions, he said Steele has received a number of threats. He said word got back to him that a co-defendant said, "Every rooster has its day to die."

Prosecutor Michael Porter said, despite his help, the court should consider that Steele was involved in some very serious crimes. He said he produced over 225 grams of meth.

He said Steele's record includes five felonies - three of them violent.

 




Attorney General Says Bradley County Does Not Have To Share Proceeds From Hotel/Motel Tax With Municipalities

The state attorney general's office has ruled that Bradley County government is not required to share proceeds of the hotel/motel tax with municipalities within the county. The ruling says the law states that 25 percent goes to general government, 25 percent to tourism, 25 percent to industrial recruitment and 25 percent to the agri-business center (or to general government). ... (click for more)

Donahue Charged In Robbery In Parking Garage At 300 Broad Street

Arthur James Donahue is facing charges in connection with a robbery at a parking garage at 300 Broad St. on Monday afternoon. David Richardson said he returned to his green Honda coupe and found a man inside. He said when he asked the man what he was doing, he exited the vehicle, put his hand in his jacket, and said, "I have a gun. Drop your keys." He said he handed over the ... (click for more)

What Our Schools Are And Have Been Doing About Bullying

Bullying has been a widely discussed topic during the last few weeks in the wake of the incident involving the Ooltewah High basketball team.  Contrary to public opinion, Hamilton County Schools have not been passive in our efforts to address bullying now or for the past several years.  Unfortunately, bullying is a societal norm that is infiltrating our school community, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Grab The Reaching Hand

Three of Tennessee’s largest four cities are now searching for school superintendents. Jesse Register retired last June and, after botching the first attempt, Nashville city leaders are intensely helping the Board of Education in a search for the best candidate. In Knoxville and Chattanooga the superintendents have resigned, both under a cloud, and now the leaders of the ‘2.0’ initiative ... (click for more)

District 5-3A Hoops Haunted By The Owls' Absence

ATHENS, Tenn. – District 5-3A basketball coaches gathered here on Wednesday to set up brackets and choose regular season All-District teams. In terms of all-district selections, the coaches did that fairly simple matter of voting and tabulating the numbers in short order. Bradley Central swept the top player honors when Cole Copeland and Rhyne Howard were selected to the ... (click for more)

Red Bank Picked To Win Region 2-A/AA Wrestling

It appears that the Red Bank Lions will be the target for teams involved in the Region 2-A/AA wrestling tournament being held at Hixson Middle School this weekend. The Lions, fresh off Saturday's A-AA State Duals title, are the early favorites for the upcoming tournament after claiming six number-one seeds in the 14 weight classes during the seeding meeting held Wednesday at ... (click for more)