published Monday, May 14th, 2012

Murder charges sent to grand jury in fisherman's death

Two Cleveland, Tenn., men charged with beating a 46-year-old man to death and leaving his body floating in a fishing boat near the Grasshopper Creek Recreation Area will face a grand jury on murder charges.

General Sessions Judge David Norton agreed there was enough evidence to send the charges against Chance A. Loftis, 24, and Travis Hayes Jenkins, 28, to a Hamilton County grand jury after a preliminary hearing today.

The men were arrested April 25 in Bradley County, the same day fishermen found the body of Donald Rogers adrift in the Hamilton County waterway.

Defense attorney Bill Speek is representing Loftis, and Mike Caputo is defending Jenkins.

Speek raised questions about whether Rogers had pulled a knife before the attack. Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office detective Jeff Baker confirmed that Jenkins said Rogers pulled a knife on Loftis as they argued before the attack.

The grand jury typically takes six weeks or longer to return an indictment or not.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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