Man Charged In Douglas Heights Murder To Stay Out On Bond After Assault Charge Dismissed

Monday, January 27, 2020 - by Joseph Dycus

Toddie Woods, 26, will remain out on bond after Criminal Court Judge Don Poole decided to recall his capias. Woods, who has been charged with first-degree murder for his involvement with the Douglas Heights shooting in May, was facing a revocation after he was charged with domestic assault on Jan. 2.

“It was dismissed in Sessions Court, and our position would be that there was no basis for it,” said defense attorney Dan Ripper, “But in any case, there was an inability by the state to put on proof because they arrested both parties to an alleged incident. Typically what happens is that each lawyer is going to tell his client not to say anything, and the state has no proof to go forward."

According to his attorney Ripper, Woods was attempting to stop his wife from driving drunk. The charges were dropped in General Sessions Court on Friday morning, which meant the basis for increasing or revoking the bond was null. Judge Poole followed suit and kept the bond conditions the same.

“Even if there had been testimony, it would be our position that no crime had been committed,” said attorney Ripper, “Well you can read the report, he attempted to restrain his wife and got arrested for not cooperating with the police.”

Woods’ bond is set at $203,000, according to the court docket, and he is currently on house arrest as well.  

“There were no changes to the bond. His bond will remain exactly where it was,” said attorney Ripper. “He will still have his house arrest obligations, and he will need to do everything he was required to do before.”

With Woods still out on bond, his attorney illustrated the ways having his client free would help creating a defense an easier task.

“The reason, from a lawyer’s perspective, that you don’t want your client in custody is that there’s a lot of stress being in jail and it just clouds the mind of your client and makes them a little bit more difficult to deal with,” said attorney Ripper. “And the thing is you have them available to you. They can cooperate with you, and help you build their case and build their defense.”

Aside from Toddie Woods, his brother Omerrial and friend Hyacinth Taylor were also charged with first-degree murder and facilitation of murder, respectively. At a preliminary hearing, the state played a video showing Toddie Woods firing 15 shots into a door at Douglas Heights.

It was testified that Woods and others in his group had first met up with the Hispanic group at a convenience store on Rossville Boulevard. Several in the group said an Hispanic woman had invited them to a party at the Douglas Heights.

Jose Garcia-Lopez said he had been invited to a bar in Chattanooga by a female, and he and a friend drove up. He said the group of about a dozen, including three females, then went to Douglas Heights. He said a resident let them in and they went to a pool area.

He said the other group then came into the pool area, and Toddie Woods went up to one of the females and said, "I have a long (expletive) if you want to see it." He said that caused a confrontation between some in his group and the Woods group. He said Omerrieal Woods came up to where it was going on and identified himself as the brother.

The witness said his group decided to leave the pool to avoid getting in a fight. He said they were followed and barely made it to the elevator. They then went to Room 240 and soon noticed they were being followed. He told of fighting to keep Toddie Woods out of the room and of trying to find something that could be used to wedge the door.

He said he was still near the door when the shots rang out. He said when they were over he saw that he had been shot in the shoulder and his shirt was covered in blood. He also looked over to see his friend dead on the floor.  He said the bullet is still in his shoulder because he was told it was too risky to try to take it out. He said at first his left arm was numb, but he has gradually regained feeling in it except for his palm and a couple of fingers.

 


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