State To Retry Smart On North Chattanooga Rape Charge; Bond Conditions Lifted

Monday, September 18, 2017

The state plans to retry the case in which a 17-year-old was charged with raping a 69-year-old jogger in North Chattanooga three years ago.

Judge Don Poole on Aug. 25 had declared a mistrial after a jury said it was deadlocked.

Diontae Smartt, who was charged with aggravated rape, was already free on bond.

Judge Poole has now lifted bond conditions, including being electronically monitored. 

Smartt, who became a suspect when police got a tip about him from a member of the public, told police the jogger had initiated the sexual contact.

At first Smartt told police he did not know the jogger and said he had gone to school that morning.

During the course of the interview, he broke down and said he did sexually penetrate the jogger. 

Speaking between sobs, he said he was at a bus stop when the jogger came by. He said the man asked him to follow him and he did. He said when they came to a somewhat secluded spot that the man put his arm around him. He said at that point he hit the man in the face.

He could not explain why the man had so many bruises and lacerations on his body.

Smartt said he went on to school without changing clothes after the incident.

The male jogger took the witness stand at the start of the trial, saying he was attacked and sexually assaulted on West Mississippi Avenue near Normal Park School. It happened in the early morning of Sept. 29, 2014.

A triage nurse at Parkridge Hospital's emergency room said the man arrived at 7:27 a.m. and signed in as being a victim of sexual assault. She said the Rape Crisis Center was summoned.

She said she could readily see that he had an abrasion on his head.

A nurse from the Rape Crisis Center said the man had multiple lacerations and abrasions on both sides of his body as well as his head and back. She said some of his injuries were consistent with a forcible sexual assault.

Sgt. Joe Montijo, who is over the crime scene technicians, said he went to the hospital and found "an elderly male who clearly had been in some sort of altercation." He said there was a large laceration in the back of his head with some bleeding.

He said there were scraps of dirt and grass in his hair and his T-shirt "was incredibly soiled."

The witness said he went to 1131 West Mississippi Ave. - just down from where the jogger thought it happened - and was able to find the crime scene. He said there were two red stains on some concrete steps. He also found a white button. 

When Smartt was arrested two days later, Sgt. Montijo also checked him out, finding a number of bruises on him. One was on the bridge of his nose. He had a cut on his upper arm and abrasions on his knees and elbows.

At Smartt's home on Federal Street, he found a ripped white T-shirt that was stuffed behind a bed head board. He also found a pair of shorts that were missing the top button.

A pair of brass knuckles was found on Smartt, it was stated.

Smartt's mother, who was with him at the police station, said he had been injured a few weeks before when he was hit while riding his bicycle. She said he had a slight concussion and other injuries. 

Smartt opened up to detectives after his mother was asked to leave the room, and she did.




Woman Injured In House Fire In Birchwood On Monday

A woman was injured Monday morning in a house fire in the Birchwood area. The homeowner called 911 at 9:33 a.m. reporting a fire at her residence. The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded to 5826 Grasshopper Road and reported a mobile home with light smoke coming from the eaves. Once firefighters confirmed all residents were out of the house, they entered the ... (click for more)

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click  here  for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (4)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s So Sad For Me

I cannot remember a time in my life when I have been as saddened by such a travesty that has now erupted in the confirmation process that would place Brett Kavanaugh on our Supreme Court. I am sad for every single person who has been touched by this catastrophe, from 85-year-old Dianne Feinstein to Brett’s wife and two young daughters, ages 13 and 10. Not a person, in any way involved, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Holds On To Beat Samford, 27-20

The Samford Bulldogs may have won the battle, but the Chattanooga Mocs won the war. Facing each other in a key Southern Conference football battle at Finley Stadium Saturday night, the Mocs had their hands full, but were able to pull out an important victory by a final score of 27-20 before 10,469 fans. The Bulldogs entered the game on a two-game losing streak, but were leading ... (click for more)

No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs Battles Missouri For A Tough 43-29 Victory Saturday

COLUMBIA, Mo. —   There's more than one way to win a game, more than one way to score, more than one way to, in Georgia football coach  Kirby Smart 's oft-repeated words, attack the day. The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs got out of Columbia, Mo., with a win Saturday  before 58,284 at Faurot Field  in large part because of how they attacked the ball. ... (click for more)