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.
 


Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Charges 3 With Robbery And Kidnapping

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson said investigation continued Tuesday into an incident Monday night that led to three suspects being charged with felony counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery. The sheriff’s office was first made aware of the situation when contacted by the victim who stated he initially met one of the suspects to give them money to purchase ... (click for more)

Tillery Slaying Bound Over To Grand Jury

The case of Jermichael Tillery has been bound over to the grand jury. Tillery is charged with the murder of Cornelius Douglas at 1419 Carousel Road on April 25. Witness Michael Walker appeared before Judge Gary Starnes on Tuesday. He said he saw the first shot, but didn’t start running till the fifth or sixth shot. “That’s when the other dude lifted up his gun ... (click for more)

Late-Night Harassment By The Signal Mountain Police - And Response (11)

I am writing about the misconduct of the Signal Mountain Police Department. This is a repetitive civil rights problem, systemic within their department, with no hint of remorse or regret or a notion to change, though they have been confronted numerous times.   I live on Signal Mountain. In the last few months, I have been pulled over three times while I was driving three ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Hot Rod’s Catfish Dinner

It could well be the best part of playing a prank is in the delicious moments until your “fish” takes the hook. So yesterday afternoon, as I tried repeatedly to talk to a man I haven’t spoken to in 27 years, rather than leave my name I popped off the Happy Birthday song in a snappy, loud way and then ended it with a simple, “Call me,” adding my number. John “Hot Rod” Talley spent ... (click for more)

Crosby Huckabay At Heart Of Baylor Softball Success

The Baylor Lady Red Raiders have had incredible success on the softball field in recent years. Baylor is the defending D-II Class AA state champion and has won state titles in four of the past five seasons. There are three seniors on this year's team that has compiled an outstanding record of 34-4, including shortstop Mari Gardner, pitcher Kayla Hughes and first baseman Crosby ... (click for more)

Spring Fling XXIII Notebook: Rare Feat For Athletes and Coaches

Few former athletes who are current high school coaches have the distinction of participating in Spring Fling (1994 to present) as a player and coach and have a state championship included in their resume. The Chattanooga area has at least three – Tara Garner (Boyd Buchanan tennis), Dustin Kane (Baylor tennis) and Kelli Howard Smith (Baylor softball) – who meet the above mentioned ... (click for more)