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.

 




HCSO Looking For Suspects Involved In Check Cashing Fraud

Two fraudulent checks were cashed at separate times on Thursday. The first check was cashed by a heavy set black male wearing a ball cap and white tank top.  The second check was cashed by a skinny, young male who was in the company of two younger black males. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is working this fraud investigation and is requesting the  public’s ... (click for more)

Big River Grille Employees’ Fight Over Apron Ends In Arrest

A fight over a stolen apron ended in an arrest for employees at Big River Grille, police said. After arriving on scene Sunday night, police said they spoke to two victims who had abrasions on their faces. The female victim told officers that she had confronted her co-worker, Tyree Scott, about stealing her server apron. She said Scott became enraged and attacked her, ... (click for more)

Judge Steelman Was Unfairly Criticized In Handling Of School Bus Driver Rape Case - And Response

We are blessed to have freedom of speech in our society, but I am always amazed at the number of folks who voice such strong antagonistic opinions about things without any apparent first-hand knowledge.   As any who wish to criticize the system should know, people get arrested and charged for criminal offenses every day.  The ultimate charge and penalty which results ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote For Rhonda Thurman

After studying the Hamilton County School Board quite harshly during the last seven most-tumultuous months in its history, it is only proper that I share my belief that Rhonda is its Most Valuable Player. Four of the school board’s nine members are up for re-election, with Rhonda facing capable opponents in Jason Moses and Dr. Patti Skates in District 1, but let’s never forget that ... (click for more)

Williams Hired To Lead Restart Of Owls Boys' Basketball

Jay Williams has been hired as Ooltewah’s head boys’ basketball coach, a program rocked by a rape scandal last December that eventually led Hamilton County School officials to disband the varsity team and cancel more than half its schedule. Williams, who has strong ties to Ooltewah High School, previously coached at LaFayette School and Northwest Whitfield high schools in Northwest ... (click for more)

TSSAA Sets Future Division I, Division II Classifications

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Board of Control has released the minutes from Wednesday’s meeting in Hermitage pertaining to football classification period for the 2017-18 and run through 2020-2021 1.  Roll Call 2.  Division I and Division II Classification The Board of Control voted the following for the classification period that ... (click for more)