A Soddy Daisy man charged with second-degree murder attempted to have his $300,000 bond reduced in criminal court. Randy Lee Layne, 36, allegedly gunned down Timothy Stewart in a wooded area of Soddy Daisy in 2015.
Defense attorney Jonathan Turner brought Layne’s sister, Lana Layne Lane, to the witness stand. She began by telling Judge Don Poole about Layne’s strong ties to the area, with the defendant being a lifelong resident of Hamilton County.
The witness said the family could pay a $150,000 bond, and that he could stay with his girlfriend in Falling Water. While he is close to both his mother and sister, they live in Knoxville and Harrison respectively.
“We all support him. We’re all very supportive,” said the witness, who then told the judge, “We could do whatever we needed to do (in order to comply with the court’s demands).”
Some of those requirements would be such things as wearing an ankle GPS monitoring bracelet and installing a land line phone inside the house. The attorney made the case that a $300,000 bond was rather high for second-degree murder, and more in line with a first-degree murder charge.
Working against Layne was his lack of consistent employment. While he worked odd jobs such as cutting grass or fixing cars, Layne did not have a steady job. His girlfriend supported the couple as a nurse. Layne also has a long drug history. While his sister claimed he had gone to rehab and “was doing better,” she said her brother still struggles with drugs.
“I think the bond is fine,” said prosecutor Lee Ortwein, who asked the judge to consider Layne’s drug use and a lack of consistent employment. Aside from Layne’s sister, neither the state nor the defense brought any other witnesses to the stand.
Because of his preoccupation with the upcoming Mark Howard murder trial, Judge Poole told the attorneys he needed more time to come to a decision. After a brief discussion, a date of Dec. 9 was agreed upon by attorney Turner and prosecutor Lee Ortwein. and Layne was taken back to the jail afterward.
In 2015, Timothy Stewart was reported missing. His body was found a few days later in a rock quarry at the foot of Signal Mountain. Layne and another sister, Kattie Lynn Layne, were charged three years later in 2018. Layne was charged with facilitation of second-degree murder. He also has over a dozen traffic and drug-related charges pending too.