published Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Woman given new lawyer after Chattanooga murder trial ends with hung jury

A woman who faces first-degree murder charges in connection with the 2011 stabbing death of a 15-year-old girl has a new lawyer and hearing date.

Temekia Reed, 25, was tried last week for the slaying of Shaviya Vinson. After more than 10 hours of deliberation, the jury was stuck at 10 to 2 and could not reach a unanimous verdict.

Criminal Court Judge Stern declared a mistrial.

When attorneys met Tuesday, Michael Thomas announced that another attorney would represent Reed from this point forward.

Bill Speek, of the local law firm Speek and Webb, confirmed that his firm was taking the case. He added that they will have a hearing on Tuesday and try to set a trial date within the next two months.

Eyewitnesses could not say for certain that Reed stabbed Vinson in a Dec. 19, 2011, street fight at College Hill Courts. But Reed's mother, Natalia Reed, and sister Derrecka Witcher both told police shortly after the fight that Temekia Reed had said she stabbed Vinson.

Both Natalia Reed and Witcher were in the fight. Witcher told police she saw her sister throw something from her hand as they left the fight. When Witcher asked her what the object was, Temekia Reed said scissors and that she, "saw a chest and I went for it."

Police later found a pair of purple-handled scissors at the location described by Witcher. Vinson's blood was on the blades.

Both Witcher and Natalia Reed later recanted their statements and claimed that police had threatened them with arrest if they didn't provide information.

Temekia Reed has been in jail since her arrest. She remains there awaiting retrial.

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP.

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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