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."

Police Blotter: Clerk Sees Man Outside With Gun, Mask; Woman's Alabama Decal Again Defaced

A manager at the Cricket Cellphone Store on E. 3rd Street said the store was in the process of closing and he had locked the front doors of the business. He then observed an unknown black male pulling on the locked doors. It appeared the male had a gun in his left hand. The manager said he never did open the door because the man looked suspicious. The black male was described as ... (click for more)

Dalton Police Investigate Pedestrian Fatality Thursday Night

The Dalton Police Department is investigating a crash that killed a pedestrian Thursday night. Early indications are that the victim was attempting to cross Chattanooga Road near the intersection with Tibbs Road and ran in front of a pickup truck. Investigators believe alcohol may have been a factor.  The crash happened around 8 p.m. on Thursday in the area of the Motel ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Airport Needs To Upgrade Its TSA PreCheck Benefits

Dear Mr. Jacobson and Mr. Hart,  I am a lifelong Chattanoogan who enjoys traveling. Since the birth of my toddler son in April 2016, my husband and I have been frequent patrons of the Chattanooga Airport for almost all of our flights, both business and pleasure, as this saves us time and is very convenient. In fact, our 22-month-old son has flown 24 segments with us in his ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

As your dress in your best green outfit today so you can join in the Saint Patrick’s Day revelry, here’s a conversation that was overhead at an Irish pub in Killarney. Finnegan is sitting in his favorite corner, using some of the proceeds after selling his friend Michael a donkey. Suddenly Michael bolts in the door and yells, “Hey, Finnegan, that donkey you sold me went and died.' ... (click for more)

Scott Chandler Named Ooltewah Football Coach

Ooltewah High School is honored and privileged to name the new head football coach. After several quality applicants, the football search committee has decided to name Scott Chandler to this position. He brings great passion, knowledge, and experience to this football team and its staff. His belief system is impeccable, and because of this, he will bring great pride and ... (click for more)

Lady Vols Soar Past Liberty, 100-60

KNOXVILLE -- No. 12/13-ranked Tennessee soared past Liberty, 100-60, as the No. 3 seed Lady Vols scored their highest point total in an NCAA Tournament game since 2006 when they defeated Army, 102-54.   Rennia Davis led UT (25-7) with 18 points and 11 rebounds, marking her ninth career double-double and tying her with Tamika Catchings for the fifth most double-doubles ... (click for more)