Man accused of killing ex-girlfriend in Soddy-Daisy to make court appearance Tuesday

Man accused of killing ex-girlfriend in Soddy-Daisy to make court appearance Tuesday

July 3rd, 2014 by David Cobb in Local Regional News

Vickie Penny points out bullet holes Sunday in her daughter's home at Mimosa Trailer Park in Soddy-Daisy. Penny's daughter, Crystal Ostrum, 39, who was recently married, was the victim of a shooting early Sunday morning.

Photo by Erin O. Smith/Times Free Press.

Jeremy Scott Ritchie

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

The man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend early Sunday morning in Soddy-Daisy will make his first court appearance on homicide charges Tuesday.

Jeremy Scott Ritchie, 39, is in the Hamilton County Jail with no bond until then.

Police believe he fired multiple shots into Crystal Ostrum's home at the Mimosa Trailer Park at dawn Sunday. Ostrum, 39, died of her wounds. Her new husband and stepson were injured in the attack.

By late Sunday afternoon, authorities found Ritchie at a cabin in Van Buren County, Tenn. Statements from Ostrum's husband and stepson implicated Ritchie as a suspect.

He was already scheduled to appear in court this month on assault charges stemming from a November incident when he allegedly beat Ostrum so badly that he knocked out her front teeth and battered her face.

Ostrum's mother, Vickie Penny, said that in the months since then, Ritchie threatened her daughter again, even after she recently married another man.

"If they threaten you, believe them," Penny said Wednesday. "Don't hesitate. Don't think twice about calling [police]. If you get harassed, you call. You report it."

Soddy-Daisy Police Chief Phillip Hamrick said Monday that Ostrum's death is the town's first fatal shooting since the 2012 slaying of 24-year-old Casey Burgiss. Keith Lee Stewart pleaded guilty in that case and received a 35-year prison sentence.

The investigation into Sunday's shooting remains open.

Ostrum's funeral is today at Hamilton Memorial Gardens.

Contact staff writer David Cobb at dcobb@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6731.