published Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Chattanooga: Murder charge in strangulation death sent to the grand jury

A 20-year-old Chattanooga man will face a grand jury on charges he strangled a 75-year-old woman to death with a vacuum cleaner cord in her home.

Reginald Mapp Jr. was arrested on Sept. 21, six days after the daughter of the victim found her mother, JoAnne Moore Desha, on the floor of her 2302 Marco Circle home.

Police found Desha’s Cadillac at Mapp’s home while executing a search warrant. They found also the car’s manual in Mapp’s bedroom.

Mapp told police he bought the car from Desha for $200 and denied having anything to do with her death.

Desha’s rings and cellphone are believed to have been stolen. These items have not yet been recovered.

General Sessions Judge Christie Mahn Sell sent the case to the grand jury after a preliminary hearing Tuesday. The grand jury typically takes at least four to six weeks to determine whether there will be an indictment.

Chattanooga police Detective James Tate and Crowder both testified during today’s hearing.

Mapp is being held at the Hamilton County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

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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