Arrest made in connection with East Ridge slaying

Arrest made in connection with East Ridge slaying

June 18th, 2011 by Beth Burger in News

A man with a lengthy criminal record, including forgery and theft cases, was arrested after using a 70-year-old slain woman's credit cards an hour and 45 minutes after her death, according to an East Ridge Police Department affidavit of complaint.

Randall Reed, who is charged with theft under $500, remained at the Hamilton County Jail on a $100,000 bond Friday night after he turned himself in.

Jane Stokes, who lived in a small house at 707 Hardin Drive in East Ridge, suffocated to death after an assailant secured a plastic bag around her head and bound her hands behind her back.

Ligatures remained around her neck and hands after a neighbor found her body lying on the bedroom floor of her home when she did not show up for work, according to a neighbor and reports.

ATM photos at several banks show Reed using Stokes' cards after her death.

Since 1996, Reed has been arrested for theft charges 16 times and 13 times for forgery, according to court records.

In 2006, he was arrested for aggravated occupied burglary after he stole a house key from an acquaintance and entered her home. The case was dismissed.

There was no forced entry at Stokes' home, according to investigators.

Reed, 43, was staying in a room at the Travelodge hotel near Shallowford Road just off Interstate 75. Police collected evidence from Reed's room, his vehicle and Stokes' home that has been sent to the lab.

He is scheduled to appear in East Ridge Municipal Court at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Anyone with information can contact the East Ridge Police Department at 423-867-3718. Dispatch can be reached after hours at 423-622-1725, or a tip line at 423-867-0016.