Judge Sets $200,000 Bond, Strict Conditions, For Man Charged In 1997 Chattanooga "Cold Case" Murder

Monday, May 05, 2014
Detective Bill Phillips testifies as Lebron Hollingsworth looks on
Detective Bill Phillips testifies as Lebron Hollingsworth looks on

Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern set a $200,000 bond and strict conditions for a man charged in a long-unsolved 1997 Chattanooga murder.

Judge Stern said if Lebron Hollingsworth makes bond he will have to wear a bracelet with GPS tracking and stay in Hamilton County.

She also said he would have to hire his own private attorney. He is currently represented by the public defender's office.

Tommy Johnson, a former Chattanoogan who said he is the best friend of Hollingsworth, said he had spoken with Key Bonding Company about making his bond. Hollingsworth is a boilermaker, who works at various locations across the country as dispatched by his union.

The witness said Hollingsworth lived in Birmingham and then Texas over the past decade. He was arrested at Amarillo, Tex., after an indictment by the Hamilton County Grand Jury in January. He was mistakenly released the next day and then, soon thereafter, was picked up in Ohio and then brought here.

He had previously been under no bond.

After a lengthy hearing, Steven Brown of the public defender's office said there is "little, if anything, to tie" Hollingsworth with the murder of estranged wife Victoria Carr Hollingsworth. She was reported missing by her parents on Aug. 18, 1997, and her skeletal remains were found on May 29, 1999.

Detective Bill Phillips said he had been working on the missing person case of Vicky Hollingsworth for almost 14 years. He said Hollingsworth reported her missing a day after the parents did when she did not show up for work.

Her two children by a previous relationship said they had been left alone when their mother did not return home.

Ms. Hollingsworth, though the couple was separated, still would get up around 5 a.m. each morning and take him to his job at the time. Her Mustang was found at her parents' residence on Duncan Avenue.

Detective Phillips said a small amount of blood was found on the passenger seat. He said the car had been drenched with some type of petroleum-based product.

There was a branch that was stuck on the car's muffler. The detective said it matched a bush that was in the defendant's back yard at 3214 4th Ave.

He said there were tire marks leading back to the bush, and the marks were the same size as those on Ms. Hollingsworth's car.

A cadaver dog was brought in and hit on an outbuilding. The detective said the dog's handler said that indicated that a dead body had been in the shed.

Det. Phillips said the couple had been together that weekend, including at a flea market on E. 23rd Street not long before she disappeared.

A skull was found at a residence on Taylor Street at the foot of Billy Goat Hill on May 29, 1999, then the rest of the body was found. Through dental records, the body was traced to Ms. Hollingsworth.

The detective said one witness has died and another has suffered a series of strokes and is unable to talk.

He said the new information includes interviews with several prior spouses or girlfriends of Hollingsworth, who say he has a temper and can become violent.

Detective Phillips said Hollingsworth initially gave a statement, but would not talk when he was brought back in. He said after his arrest in Texas, he denied any involvement in the death of Ms. 
Hollingsworth.

Prosecutor Neal Pinkston said Hollingsworth has a fairly lengthy criminal record, including several drug convictions.
 
 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAILEY, JOHANNA R 6242 TELTHA LN CHATTANOOGA, 37415 46 Hamilton County PASSING WORTHLESS CHECK(S) BARERRA, RIGOBERTO 422 EAST 16TH STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37408 29 Chattanooga DRIVING WITHOUT DRIVERS LICENSE / EXPIRED LICENSE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REGISTRATION, EXPIRED BIBBS, DEMETRIUS ... (click for more)

Police Investigating An Armed Robbery On Friday Night At UTC

UTC Police are investigating with the Chattanooga City Police an armed robbery in Lot 4 near Boling Apartments on Friday night. The suspects are described as two black men.  One was six feet tall, wearing a navy jacket, with medium skin tone and short hair.  The other suspect was reported to be 5’ 7”, wearing blue jeans and a long white T-shirt. The second suspect ... (click for more)

Don't Be Quick To Discard Common Core

Let's not be too quick to discard Common Core. A recent article in the Tennessean on  Sunday detailed Common Core successes the Kingsport, Tennessee school system.  I encourage you to read it.  The article also noted that Tennessee was recently ranked as one of the fastest improving states in education after implementing portions of the Common Core curriculum ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Tubman Goat-Roping

Every spring there comes a bright day on the ranch when the straw-boss decrees a goat-roping should take place. What really happens is the veteran cowboys arm the greenhorns with some lariats late in the afternoon and take them to the pen that holds some Billy goats. This is before they get into bigger beasts -- horses and cattle – yet what appears to be easy most certainly is not. ... (click for more)

Football Mocs Receive No. 8 Seed For FCS Playoffs

The hugs, high fives and first pumps by the Tennessee at Chattanooga football players late Sunday morning let everyone know in Moc Nation that the Blue and Gold had received a highy-coveted seed and would be hosting a second round NCAA FCS playoff game Dec 6 at Finley Stadium at 1 p.m. "When the television announcers called our name as the No.8 seed (out of eight ... (click for more)

Missouri Hangs On, Turns Back Tennessee, 29-21

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Missouri pin-pricked Joshua Dobbs’ bubble of invincibility Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. The nationally ranked Tigers drove a stake in Tennessee’s heart with Maty Mauk’s 73-yard touchdown pass to Jimmie Hunt in the fourth quarter, held Dobbs in check most of the game and beat the Vols, 29-21, before 95,821 fans on a chilly night on the banks of the Tennessee ... (click for more)