Judge Dismisses All Charges Against Tawana Blair In 1999 Cleveland Triple Murder; Attorney Davis Says She Is "Victim"

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A special judge has dismissed all charges against Tawana "Tart"  Blair in the 1999 triple murder in Cleveland, Tn.

Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood, in a 13-page ruling, noted that a jury in 2009 had deadlocked on most of the charges facing Ms. Blair. Then she faced new charges four years later.

The state at one time was seeking the death penalty against her.

Judge Blackwood also removed former prosecutor Richard Fisher from the case and put Steve Crump in his place.

After the jury deadlock in 2009, Judge Amy Reedy proceeded to dismiss all counts of first-degree murder and second-degree murder (three of each) against Ms. Blair.

Ms. Blair had been shot herself in the Valentine's Day triple slaying along with the three people who died - O.J. Blair, 18; Cayci Higgins, 19; and Dawn Rogers, 25.

The judge also acquitted Ms. Blair on especially aggravated robbery charges.

The only remaining charge had been facilitation of murder.

Her attorney, Lee Davis of Chattanooga, said, “In 2009 Tawana Blair was acquitted of all charges after a jury trial.  Today Judge Blackwood again dismissed all charges against her in this latest prosecution launched in 2014 by District Attorney Steve Bebb and carried forward by assistant Richard Fisher.  Tawana Blair is not guilty and never was guilty of anything in this case. Tawana Blair is a victim in this horrible tragedy.

"On Valentine’s Day in 1999 she was shot in the back and left for dead, while her cousin and two friends lay murdered in the next room.  Over the last 15 years Ms. Blair has been subjected to multiple indictments and a jury trial.  At every turn she has been vindicated as not being involved in these senseless murders. With today’s order again dismissing all charges against her, we hope the matter is finally concluded.”

Maurice Johnson earlier was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life without parole.

Michael Younger went to trial, but a mistrial was declared based on prosecutorial misconduct.

Click here to read the order of dismissal.
 


Tennessee Delegation Urges Transportation Secretary To Work With Haslam, State Officials On Highway Funds

Every member of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation this week urged U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to work with Governor Bill Haslam and state officials to find a solution to a problem that threatens Tennessee with the loss of $60 million in urgently needed highway funds.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this month that a new Tennessee ... (click for more)

Couple Charged With Breaking Into TVA Building And Taking $7,500 In Items, Truck

A couple was charged with breaking into a TVA building on Hickory Valley Road and taking $7,500 in items as well as a truck. Dustin Lee Adams, 25, and Hollie Diesz, 38, are charged with theft and firearm possession. In the incident on Wednesday, TVA officials said the thieves entered the building and took several sets of keys, a Think Pad, a Nikon 300 camera, two Garmin GPS ... (click for more)

Alexander Should Do Something About The Affordable Health Care Act Price Increase - And Response (3)

Re:  Alexander's remarks about Tennesseans not affording "Affordable Health Care Act" prices Mr. Alexander,  Your message stated, Tennesseans can't afford a 44 percent to 62 percent increase in the Affordable Care prices.  I simply ask, as Senate Health Committee chairman, why don't you do something about it?  Don't tell us something most know already.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 40 Questions About ‘Blue Bags’

No. 1 – Did you know that one in every five of the 42,000 children in the Hamilton County school district is what the experts call “food deprived?” No. 2 – Can you get your arms around the fact that a huge percentage of those 8,400 children get little, if nothing, to eat from Friday at lunch until they return to our schools on Monday? No. 3 -- Did you know that you – just ... (click for more)

Sale Creek Storms Past Central, 3-0, In Volleyball Action

(Story will be updated) Despite playing short-handed, Sale Creek’s once-beaten Lady Panthers made short work of Central, 3-0, Thursday night in high school volleyball action at Central High School. The Lady Panthers sprinted to their 11 th win in 12 matches by whipping Central 25-21, 25-13, 25-8 in just 68 minutes in the non-district matchup. It was Sale Creek’s ... (click for more)

Grace Wins In Celebration Of Coach Waters' Birthday

The Grace Academy volleyball team had several reasons to play well at Silverdale on Thursday night, not to mention that it was head coach Hillary Waters’ birthday. Facing the Lady Seahawks in a key District 5-A match, the Lady Golden Eagles did what they had to do as they won the match in four sets as they improved to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in 5-A. Set scores were 25-15, ... (click for more)