Chattanooga murder trial results in hung jury

Chattanooga murder trial results in hung jury

March 29th, 2013 by Todd South in Local Regional News

Temekia Deshon Reed

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

After more than 10 hours of deliberation, a jury in the murder trial of Temekia Reed was stuck 10 to 2.

The jury spent all day Thursday deliberating the charge of first-degree murder against Reed in the Dec. 19, 2011, stabbing death of 15-year-old Shaviya Vinson.

Standing outside Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern's courtroom Thursday night, Vinson's grandmother Vanisa Wells couldn't understand the jury's trouble coming to a decision.

"I had hoped this was going to end today," Wells said.

She's been at every one of Reed's court appearances since the 25-year-old Chattanooga woman was arrested and charged in the death.

Members of Reed's family declined to comment on the outcome of the trial.

Prosecutors allege that during a street brawl involving about a dozen people in College Hill Courts Reed rushed into the crowd and stabbed Vinson in the chest with a pair of purple-handled scissors belonging to Reed's mother, Natalia Reed.

The fight started between Natalia Reed and Renee Cross over $20 the elder Reed claimed she was owed for baby-sitting.

Cellphone video of the fight was replayed several times in the courtroom by both prosecutors David Schmidt and Cameron Williams and defense attorney Michael Thomas.

Temekia Reed's sister Derrecka Witcher told police hours after the incident that she'd seen Temekia Reed throw the scissors into a yard as they left the fight, and when she asked her what happened she said, "I saw a chest, and I went for it."

But on the witness stand in the first day of the trial Tuesday, Witcher said she had been threatened by police before her recorded interview and only told them the information about the scissors to avoid prison time.

Police discovered a pair of scissors with Vinson's blood on the blade a few houses down the street from the site of the fight.

Temekia Reed's brother, Anthony "Baby Fresh" Sutton Jr., testified Wednesday that he saw his sister leaving the fight before Vinson was stabbed but he didn't see who stabbed the teenager.

Lawyers for both sides are set to meet April 2 to schedule a new trial date.

Temekia Reed remains in jail pending the new trial.

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