Murder Charges Bound To Grand Jury Against Jessica Sterchi

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

First-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, and tampering with evidence charges against 30-year-old Jessica Sterchi were bound over to a grand jury by General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes on Wednesday morning.

Ms. Sterchi is accused of the 2011 shooting death of Zachary Higdon.

 Defense attorney Rip Biggs said, "She only admitted to going there to buy drugs for herself."

 According to police and prosecutor Cameron Williams, Ms.

Sterchi knew of a plan between her boyfriend and his brother to rob Higdon.

 Detective Lucas Fuller testified that Ms. Sterchi was the one who initially suggested Higdon's name as someone to rob because she "knew him to be the type that wouldn't fight back."

 He said, "She had received information from some addicts that he had lots of dope."

 Attorney Biggs asked him about Ms. Sterchi's demeanor when he interviewed her. He said she was crying and noted, "I don't know if it was sorrow or scared but you can tell it was something she honestly felt bad about."

 Detective Fuller said, "She said she had a lot of nightmares but said she never sought professional help because she was afraid law enforcement would be contacted."

 Judge Starnes said, "Let's address the robbery issue...based on the evidence I've heard, it's very clear that this defendant knew exactly what was going on. She said in her own interview that she overheard them planning this robbery. She planned to go back and get drugs."

 He also raised the bond for this charge to $500,000.

 He said, "For murder in the first degree, there is a $1,000,000 bond." He said if she did make bail she would have to wear a GPS ankle monitor.

 Judge Starnes said, "I do find that this defendant is a danger to the community as a whole."

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