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.
 


Severe Storms In South May Create Holiday Travel Chaos

AccuWeather reports rain and thunderstorms, some capable of producing severe weather, will affect much of the South from  Tuesday  into Christmas Eve.   Despite this week being the first week of winter, it may seem like spring in the South for a day or two. The rain and storms will be spawned by a Christmas Eve storm as it gains strength and begins ... (click for more)

Tennessee To Join Lawsuit To Challenge Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery on Monday notified the appropriate parties that the state will join a lawsuit brought by attorneys general and governors from 24 other states to challenge the president’s recent executive action on immigration. Mr. Slatery said, “Our office has carefully considered whether to join this lawsuit and concluded that it is in the best interest ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 10 Tasks For This Week

In 1993 a 95-year-old man named William Snell created a list called “Life’s Little Instructions.” His list has swirled around in the Internet ever since and it is, indeed, a delightful checklist to keep us focused in the right direction. Curiously, when I read over it this past weekend, it dawned on me that if each of us would try to accomplish just 10 items on Mr. Snell’s list ... (click for more)

UTC Cagers Host UAB Tonight at McKenzie Arena

UAB’s talented point guard Nick Norton has been at three schools in three years. Before one prematurely concludes the 19-year-old can’t find a home for his basketball talents, it should be noted that his dad, Randy Norton, – the current UAB women’s basketball coach - has something to do with the “let’s get out the GPS and see where we go next” lifestyle. Nick, a true freshman ... (click for more)

Hawks Defeat Riverdale, 55-43, For Rhea Title

EVENSVILLE, Tenn. – Hamilton Heights had a chance to win the boys and girls title in the Rhea County Holiday Hoops tournament Saturday night. The Hawks delivered. The Lady Hawks came up short. Once-beaten Hamilton Heights, getting pivotal back-to-back 3-pointers by Silas Adheke and Joan Duran in the final two minutes and sterling efforts by Ezekiel Balogun and Abdulhakim ... (click for more)