Traci Carpenter Pleads Guilty To Reduced Charge Of Child Abuse In Daughter's Death

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Traci Carpenter on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of child abuse in the death of her 18-month-old daughter, Sierra Carpenter.

She faces up to four years in prison at the May 19 sentencing by Criminal Court Judge Don Poole.

Ms. Carpenter had been charged with the more serious aggravated child neglect in connection with the April 2006 death.

She had testified for the state against her former live-in boyfriend, Brian Rutherford. A jury found him not guilty of murder charges.

The child's father, Josh Carpenter, died in a car wreck about a year before the death of Sierra, who had a number of injuries on her body when she was brought to the hospital.

Attorney Lee Davis said the decision was made "to plead guilty to a D felony rather than take a chance with a jury on an A felony that carries 15-25 years in prison. We felt that was in her best interest.

"Ms. Carpenter still maintains that she did not have anything to do with the proximate cause of Sierra's death."

He said the defense will ask that she receive probation.


Soddy Daisy Man Facing Child Rape Charge

A 26-year-old Soddy Man is facing child rape charges. Ricky Minor was indicted by the Hamilton County Grand Jury on three counts of rape and two counts of child rape. The indictment said the case involved a girl aged between four and 12 years old.   (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Arrest Serial Burglar, Terry Highfield

The Chattanooga Police Department has linked one individual to eight burglaries which occurred beginning on March 5 through last Friday. On Friday ,  CPD officers were in search of a white Ford Ranger and located it at 7707 Lee Highway (Motel Six). The vehicle was registered to Terry Highfield, 59.     Following the discovery of the vehicle CPD Property ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The P.S. To A Sad Story

Back in the days when we were determined that the Chattanooga News-Free Press would have the best sports section in the country, I was traveling a whole lot. For example, back then I would be leaving today or tomorrow for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, this after hardly recovering from a week spent at The Masters. And, as it happens with those who are constantly in search for tomorrow’s ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Softball Rally Thumps Baylor, 10-3

The Soddy Daisy Lady Trojans felt right at home Monday afternoon at Baylor. These two softball teams are annually among the best in the state and they've had some memorable games in years past, but Monday's game was all Soddy Daisy. Baylor scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning before the Lady Trojans sent 11 hitters to the plate in the third where they scored ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Netters Defeat Bradley County

The defending district champion Soddy Daisy girls (9-0) defeated Bradley County, 9-0, Monday, while the Trojan boys (2-8) were also victorious against Bradley Central., 7-2. Chloe Mitchell claimed an 8-0 win against Haylee Pell in No.1 singles while Jared Elrod of Bradley Central stopped Robert Sneed, 8-2, in the boys' No.1 singles match. The Soddy Daisy ... (click for more)