The trial of the Chattanooga man accused of killing Bradley Aaron Powell in 2016 was supposed to begin Tuesday.
Instead, 24-year-old Cody Waggoner entered the Marion County Courthouse in Jasper and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Mr.
Powell’s death. He was sentenced to 38 years in prison, and taken immediately to the county jail to begin that incarceration.
Waggoner, who left the courtroom in tears, admitted killing Mr. Powell and then burying his body.
Mr. Powell disappeared in late 2016, and was reported missing by his family to the Chattanooga Police Department on Dec. 7 of that year.
The ensuing complicated investigation involved a variety of law enforcement agencies including Red Bank Police Department, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Walker County (Ga.) Sheriff’s Department, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Bureau Of Investigation and the offices of the 11th and 12th District Attorneys General in Tennessee.
The dead man’s body was found Feb. 3, 2017, buried in a shallow grave on Waggoner family property near the top of Nickajack Road on Lookout Mountain in Georgia.
Investigators determined, however, that his murder had taken place in the River Canyon Road area of Marion County in Tennessee and in August 2017 a Marion County Grand Jury indicted Waggoner for first-degree murder.