Soddy-Daisy man to serve 35 years for wife’s murder

  photo  Hamilton County Sheriff's Office / Brandon Ashley Hendricks

The Soddy-Daisy man who confessed to shooting his wife in 2018 has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after entering a guilty plea Wednesday.

Brandon Ashley Hendricks, 42, gave up his rights to file an appeal when he agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder instead of going to trial on a charge of first-degree premeditated murder.

"As in all cases, the state must consider the applicable statutes, the facts and circumstances of each case, the wishes of the victims or victims' family members, and the likelihood of conviction at trial, among other factors," Hamilton County District Attorney Coty Wamp said in a Thursday email to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

"Mr. Hendricks was indicted for first-degree premeditated murder. If the jury were to have found that premeditation did not exist, we would have faced the possibility of Mr. Hendricks receiving much less than a 35 year sentence," Wamp said.

Hendricks giving up his right to appeal means that for the family of the victim, the case has been completely resolved, the district attorney said.

"Closure is important for families," Wamp said. "If Mr. Hendricks would have been found guilty at trial, he would have had the right to appeal his conviction through multiple avenues, which would be a process that took years."

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Hendricks also pleaded guilty to aggravated child endangerment before Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Amanda Dunn, to which he will serve a concurrent 15-year sentence.

Hendricks, who has no prior record, is to serve the full sentence but could be eligible for a 15% credit based on good behavior, according to state law. In Tennessee, second-degree murder is a felony with a sentence between 15 to 60 years.

On July 14, 2018, Hendricks, his wife, Joanie Hendricks, and their then-7-year-old son were on their way to a birthday party for the child when they got into an argument on the side of Dayton Pike, the Times Free Press previously reported.

During the argument, Brandon Hendricks pulled out a revolver and shot his wife multiple times, as their son — who was in the back seat — watched. Hendricks then called police and confessed to the shooting. He was taken into custody and received a $450,000 bond.

Joanie Hendricks, 39, a graduate of Red Bank High School, worked for the Middle Valley Animal Hospital in Hixson for 18 years before her death, according to her obituary.

Brandon Hendricks addressed Joanie Hendricks' family at court and said he would take it all back if he could, according to the court transcript.

Hendricks also told his son that he "didn't know what happened, he just snapped," according to the transcript.

In family testimonies, Amanda Jones, Joanie Hendricks' sister, said she didn't think 35 years was enough time for Hendricks to serve, according to the transcript.

(READ MORE: Man, 21, gets 20 years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder of Chattanooga man)

"I don't think 35 years is enough for you," Jones said, according to the transcript. "It will never sit right with me how you could take her life and leave her lifeless body lying there covered with blood."

Gina Brady, Joanie Hendricks' mother, said she would pray Hendricks never finds rest or peace, according to the transcript.

"I'll never understand how you could be so mean and take Joanie's life," Brady said, according to the transcript. "I hope you suffer while you're in prison."

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