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.

 




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)

Woman Shot While Driving On 4th Avenue, Drives Herself To Hospital

Chattanooga Police were called to a local hospital Wednesday evening after a woman arrived with a gunshot wound.  Lakita Bowling, 36, told investigators she was driving her car on 4th Avenue when an unknown suspect fired a single round at her vehicle.   Ms. Bowling realized she had been shot and drove herself to a local hospital.  Chattanooga Police ask anyone ... (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)