published Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Man sentenced to life in prison for 2011 East Ridge murder

A laborer who murdered a 70-year-old East Ridge woman by suffocating her in her Hardin Drive home in 2011 has been sentenced to life in prison for the crime.

Randall Reed was sentenced this morning by Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern. He was found guilty of first-degree murder in the June 15, 2011 slaying of Jane Stokes.

Reed had done work on a fence at Stokes' home before her murder and returned to steal her debit card.

The man bound Stokes hands behind her back with black zip-ties and wrapped her head in cellophane. Within hours of her death ATM cameras captured photographs of Reed withdrawing money from Stokes account.

Reed claimed his drug dealer, Milo Geiger, had given him the card to withdraw money in exchange for drugs.

But investigators found DNA and Stokes' makeup on clothing Reed wore. They also found a 100-count pack of the same type of zip ties used to bind Stokes at Reeds home.The bag contained 78 ties. They found 22 ties at Stokes' home.

A jury took less than three hours following the three-day April trial to find Reed guilty of murder, theft and robbery.

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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