Angel Bumpass on TikTok said man who posted her bond wanted to be paid with interest

Contributed photo / Memphis attorneys Seth Segraves, left, and William Massey sit with Angel Bumpass, center, during her Nov. 3 bond hearing in Hamilton County Criminal Court.

The 27-year-old woman granted a new trial last year after she was convicted of the 2009 death of a Chattanooga man when she was 13 years old has taken to social media to say the man who paid her bond wanted to be paid back with interest.

She recorded a message on TikTok in advance of the broadcast this week of an A&E documentary on her case, the second such episode on the network's "Accused: Guilty or Innocent?" program.

In her TikTok post, she recalled her November bond hearing, at which businessman Kenneth Adams -- a stranger -- stood up and said he would pay the bond for her release from jail pending a second trial.

"At the time, I did not know what was going on, just this random stranger just said they wanted to pay for my bond, because they had proof that they had millions of dollars from their business," Angel Bumpass said in the TikTok video. "Turns out, he wanted to be paid back ... with interest, but it's OK, he got paid back."

Bumpas was tried and convicted in 2019 of the death of 68-year-old Franklin Bonner in his Washington Hills home.

Bonner was found lying on the floor duct taped to a kitchen table and chair by his wife, Linda. Bonner had duct tape around his hands, feet, arms, head, nose and mouth. A Hamilton County medical examiner later determined Bonner died of suffocation and ruled his death a homicide.

Two fingerprints from Bumpass, 13 at the time, were found on the duct tape used to restrain Bonner.

In the original trial, her grandfather, Balis Smith, testified that as a young girl Bumpass loved arts and crafts and would work on some projects that included duct tape in his garage. Further, he said, he was a handyman who had been to Bonner's house -- and may have brought duct tape there with her fingerprints on it.

An online petition signed by 875,000 cast doubt on the conviction, saying it was far-fetched to think such a young girl could overpower and kill Bonner.

  photo  Staff photo La Shawn Pagán / Chattanooga businessman Kenneth Adams sat down with the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Nov. 15 to speak about what motivated him to post the bond for Angel Bumpass.

In response to the TikTok video, Adams -- the man who posted Bumpass' bond -- told the Chattanooga Times Free Press he now regrets doing so.

"I would have expected the first words I heard from her to be thank you for helping her, not to slander me," Adams said in a text message. "When I offered to pay it, I didn't know I was getting my money back, my heart was right! To portray me as someone that had an agenda is dead wrong!"

Bumpass has been out on bond since November, after Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Amanda Dunn set her bond to $100,000.

Cordela Bumpass, Angel's aunt, would have had to pay 10% -- or $10,000 -- in accordance with Tennessee law. However, as Cordela Bumpass was facing scrutiny from the prosecution because she didn't have a copy of her pay slips to show the court where the bond money was coming from, Adams -- who was in the gallery during the hearing -- stepped up and offered to pay.

Adams said he was paid back the "exact amount they would have paid the bondsman, and nothing more."

"I've never talked to her, so a thank you would have been nice," Adams said, adding that while Cordela Bumpass thanked him, he hasn't heard from Angel Bumpass since her release.

Bumpass has since deleted the video, which had hundreds of views, and said in a message to the Times Free Press that she is thankful for Adams' help.

Bumpass has made several videos and posts on her social media platforms recently thanking her supporters and those who believe she is innocent as well as one with her visiting her two daughters in Kentucky, whey they live with their father.

In the most recent post, Bumpass urged her followers to not be quick to believe what they were going to see during the A&E program, which aired Thursday night.

"Please keep in mind that everything you see on television is edited," Bumpass said. "Everything is edited by a team of people, so take it with a grain of salt."

Bumpass also said if anyone wants "legit information" they would have to get it from her and asked people to follow her on Facebook.

Neither Cordela Bumpass nor Angel Bumpass have returned inquiries by phone, text or social media messages from the Times Free Press.

A status hearing for the case is scheduled for March 29.

Contact La Shawn Pagán at or 423-757-6476.