Testimony Continues In Murder Of Reginald Clark; Key Witnesses Reportedly Threatened

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Due to safety concerns, witnesses testifying in the Roderick Bates and Emmett Jones trial for the murder of Reggie Clark have been kept separate, and anyone entering Judge Barry Steelman's courtroom has been taken through additional security. According to prosecutors, several key witnesses had been threatened. 

Defendant Roderick "Pooh Pooh" Bates is charged with the 2011 murder of Reginald "Reggie" Clark, a 37-year-old Chattanooga man. According to police, Clark was at his home when Bates and co-defendant Emmett "D-Baby" Jones came into the residence and shot him. 

A friend of Clark, Sanford Ballou, told police he was coming to see Clark, but heard gunshots when he arrived at the home. When he found Clark shot, he called 911.

The 911 call from Ballou was played for the jury on Tuesday. In the call, Ballou told 911 operators that Clark had been shot and that he did not know the men. Ballou, who took the stand last Thursday, said he saw a tall man and a short man go into the Clark residence. He said he heard one man call the other "D-Baby." However, Ballou retracted some of what he had originally told the police. 

When he testified in court, he said he had been at a local night club, the Fire and Ice Club, with Clark earlier that night. He said he saw Clark "get into it" with someone, but he did not know the other man. Clark and several others were kicked out by a bouncer after this, but Ballou remained at the club a while longer. 

Ballou said he was with several friends when they decided to go visit Clark at home, after the club closed. He said they went to the back door, but could not get in, and that was when they heard gunshots.

On Tuesay, Marterrous "Munchy" Daniel, who was 19 at the time of the shooting, testified. He said he was in the house with Clark when the shooting ocurred. He told police when the two men came in and fired shots, he dropped to the ground and pretended he was shot. He did not move, and eventually, they left. He said one of the men was Bates and the other was Emmett Jones.

He also testified that he had been at the club earlier and had seen Clark get into an argument with Bates. Daniel said he got into a dispute with Bates' girlfriend when she threw a drink on him.

When questioned by Prosecutor Lance Pope about the nature of his relationship with Clark, he became emotional. He said Clark was a father-figure and a role model to him. He said whenever he did not have a place to stay, Clark took him in. He described Clark as having "a heart of gold."

Investigator Ken Burnett from the Chattanooga Police Department also testified Tuesday, explaining the crime scene to the jury. Medical examiner Frank Knox King testified, explaining the injuries sustained by Clark. 


Appeals Court Upholds Chancellor Brown In Elder Mountain Deannexation Case

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has upheld a decision of Chancellor Frank Brown in the Elder Mountain deannexation case. Three Elder Mountain residents who opposed being deannexed by the city earlier filed suit. Susan Rich, Janis Burger and Carole Klimesch sued the city, the Election Commission and individual members of the election panel.  The appeals court said, "This ... (click for more)

Man Rushed To Surgery After He Is Shot On Willow Street

A man was rushed to surgery after being shot on Willow Street on Thursday afternoon. At approximately 4:23 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 300 N. Willow on a person shot.  Officers located a black male who was suffering from a single gunshot wound to his abdomen.  The victim was transported to a local hospital. Police have no suspect information at this ... (click for more)

State Moving Forward In Educational Improvements

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson regarding the 2014 legislative session in Tennessee and HB1549/SB1835, which passed the General Assembly Thursday: After a year of extensive public and legislative conversation regarding higher academic standards and related strategies to improve student learning, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Jim Coppinger Excels

Jim Coppinger, who as the mayor of Hamilton County has understandably had to grow some thick skin, wants no part of the repulsive billboards now seen around town that ask, “Do you have gonorrhea?”  His Tuesday morning telephone call revealed he is just as disgusted as the rest of us who see them showing a picture of a forlorn African-American male. “You need to know the Hamilton ... (click for more)

Owls' Fugate Fires Two-Hit Shutout In 2-0 Win Over Blue Raiders

Ooltewah was on the verge of a District 5-AAA double-header sweep against Cleveland. But the Blue Raiders’ hot-hitting catcher Hunter Oliver had other ideas. The Owls rode Logan Fugate’s brilliant two-hit shutout and two first-inning runs to a 2-0 win over Cleveland in the first game at A.C. Bud Ball Field on Wednesday. “Logan is an absolute warrior,” Owls coach Brian Hitchcox ... (click for more)

Bucs' Willingham Strikes Out School-Record 17 In 5-A Win

Boyd-Buchanan’s Brandon Willingham threw a three-hit, complete-game gem and set a school record with 17 strikeouts in the Bucs’ 7-1 victory over Copper Basin on Wednesday. Willingham, a sophomore, improved his record to 6-0 on the season while the Bucs went to 14-9 overall and 5-0 in District 5-A. Willingham threw 101 pitches with 73 strikes in dominating the Cougars. Willingham ... (click for more)