Chattanooga police seek 3rd suspect in slaying

Chattanooga police seek 3rd suspect in slaying

January 19th, 2013 by Beth Burger in Local Regional News

Kristopher Bell

Christopher Jennings

When police investigators arrived at the Lakeside Youth Sports Complex last Saturday night, they found an empty Cadillac with the driver's side window shattered and blood splattered on the driver's seat and door.

The body of 37-year-old Timothy Bumpass was discovered nearby, a police report states. He was shot at least three times in the back and a couple of times in the head, according to a medical examiner's report released Friday.

No shell casings were found, but police believe the gun used to kill him likely was a revolver.

On Friday, the two men charged in his death, Kristopher Bell, 20, and Christopher Jennings, 19, appeared in red jumpsuits before Hamilton County Sessions Court Judge David Bales. Both are charged with felony murder, especially aggravated robbery and criminal conspiracy. Police are searching for a third suspect.

Defense attorneys asked for access to recordings of statements Bell made to police. Bell reportedly gave inconsistent statements about where he was during the time Bumpass was killed. Jennings refused to talk.

Bell reportedly told a witness after Bumpass' death that he had just robbed someone of $14,000 and that he wanted to buy $1,300 in marijuana, according to the arrest report. Bell often bought marijuana from Bumpass, the report states.

Witnesses told police that three men, all dressed in black, were seen returning to British Woods Apartments on Jersey Pike, where Bell lives, after Bumpass was killed. One of the men was carrying a revolver, witnesses told police.

A trail leads from the parking lot of the sports complex at 4832 Swan Road to the apartments, the arrest report states. Evidence collected at the scene indicates the men used the trail.

The third person police believe was involved in Bumpass' slaying still had not been charged Friday.

This week, friends and family members created a Facebook page in memory of Bumpass. Seven people had joined the group.

"My heart is heavy with pain missin(g) my beloved friend Tim who brought joy and happiness to my life," Leandra Harris, a friend, wrote.

Jennings and Bell are scheduled to reappear in court Wednesday.