Woman confesses in man's death - and more Chattanooga area police news

Woman confesses in man's death - and more Chattanooga area police news

April 1st, 2014 by Staff Reports in Local Regional News

Jessica Tene Sterchi

Woman confesses in man's death

A 30-year-old woman is accused of helping kill a man in his trailer nearly three years ago, according to a Chattanooga Police Department arrest report.

Jessica Tene Sterchi faces charges of murder in the first degree, especially aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence.

Sterchi told investigators she was with her boyfriend and his brother when 30-year-old Zachary Higdon was shot to death in October 2011. She told police that she had entered Higdon's trailer in Whispering Pines first to purchase cocaine.

Sterchi said the two men entered the trailer while she was still inside and tried to rob Higdon. Higdon fought back and was shot. Sterchi said she drove the men back to Higdon's home twice after he was killed to steal valuables and clean the scene as much as possible.

The items taken from the trailer matched the description given by Higdon's family members. Items were reportedly pawned. The gun used in the shooting was reportedly thrown in the river, the report states.

Investigators interviewed Sterchi after a witness came forward saying he spoke to her. She reportedly told him she was responsible for Higdon's death. He later went to police.

Sterchi who resides in Hixson, only has one prior conviction on her record in Hamilton County - a theft under $500. She was arrested Friday.

As of Monday, she remained at Silverdale Correctional Facility.

Her next court date is set for April 15 before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes.

Brian M. Green

Baby formula leads to melee

A woman's teenage boyfriend fired five shots at another woman, a disabled man and three children after his girlfriend had an argument over trying to get baby formula.

No one was struck at 2213 Stuart St., according to a Chattanooga police report.

D'Asiah Johnson, 23, and Brian Green both face five counts of aggravated assault in connection with the March 27 incident.

After Johnson had an argument over the woman not giving her formula, she got into her white Ford Crown Victoria where her infant was in the backseat. She rounded the block one time before Green, who was sitting in the front seat, opened fire with a pistol, the report states.

Both Johnson and Green are scheduled to appear April 4 before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes.

Joseph Rutherford

Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Times Free Press.

Victim ID'd in cycle crash

The victim of the fatal motorcycle crash on Hixson Pike in Chattanooga on Sunday has been identified.

Joseph Rutherford, 29, was killed after his bike and another collided, Chattanooga police said.

Police said he was a local volunteer firefighter.

The crash occurred in the 5000 block near the intersection with Northpoint Boulevard. Police said a group of riders was traveling west when one hit another and both bikes ran off the roadway.

Rutherford died at the scene, the police news release said. The other's injuries were not life-threatening.

The case is still under investigation.