Murder charges against a 39-year-old Soddy-Daisy man accused of killing his newly married ex-girlfriend and shooting two other people have been sent to the grand jury following a hearing Tuesday afternoon.
Jeremy Scott Ritchie faces a possible life sentence if convicted of the alleged murder of ex-girlfriend Crystal Perry Ostrum, 38, in June.
Soddy-Daisy police allege that Ritchie shot and killed Ostrum as she lay next to her new husband, Cody Ostrum, in their shared mobile home at Mimosa Trailer Park at 8783 Dayton Pike in the morning hours of June 30.
The preliminary hearing was held at the Hamilton/Chattanooga Courts Building instead of the Soddy-Daisy Municipal Building due to security concerns, a city court employee said.
Public Defender Steve Brown represented Ritchie in the hearing. Prosecutor Lance Pope with the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office called witnesses in the two-hour hearing.
Brown declined to comment on specifics of the case. Pope could not be reached after business hours Tuesday.
Cody Ostrum, Crystal’s bridegroom, testified against Ritchie, as did the investigating officer, according to court staff.
Soddy-Daisy Judge Marty Lasley found probable cause to send Ritchie’s homicide charges to the grand jury for a possible indictment. Ritchie was denied a bond and remains in jail custody.
Police say that Ritchie also wounded Cody Ostrum and his 21-year-old son during the alleged assault and killing. Crystal Ostrum’s 10-year-old son was in the mobile home but was not injured.
Ritchie had threatened Crystal since at least November 2013, according to police records. He had also texted her the day before the shooting.
Crystal’s mother told the Times Free Press in a previous interview that Ritchie had slammed her daughter’s head into a car dashboard back in November, causing bleeding on the brain.
After that incident Crystal took out a restraining order and stopped seeing Ritchie. For those alleged actions Ritchie faced charges of reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.
Those charges are scheduled to be heard before Criminal Court Judge Don Poole on Sept. 24, according to court records.
Contact staff writer Todd South at email@example.com or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP.
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 ...