Trial set for next summer in Chattanooga woman Jasmine Pace murder case

Staff Photo / Jason Chen enters Hamilton County Criminal Court in June 2023.
Staff Photo / Jason Chen enters Hamilton County Criminal Court in June 2023.

Jason Chen, the man charged in connection with the November death of Chattanooga woman Jasmine Pace, 22, is set to stand trial next year.

A trial date was set Wednesday for June 11, 2024.

Chen faces charges of murder and corpse abuse in connection with Pace's death. He pleaded not guilty in March.

(READ MORE: Jasmine Pace murder: Jason Chen case sent to Hamilton County grand jury)

The defense and prosecution are set to meet for a pretrial hearing Jan. 22 to hear any motions that come out of the evidence discovered in the case, Judge Boyd Patterson ruled Wednesday.

Hamilton County District Attorney Coty Wamp said during Wednesday's meeting that her office is in a "good spot" in the discovery process. Her office has delivered at least 10 flash drives with information to Chen's defense attorney, Josh Weiss, Wamp said.

Chen appeared at Wednesday's brief hearing, handcuffed in a red jumpsuit. Members of both Chen's and Pace's families were in attendance.

Pace's body was found off Suck Creek Road several days after her family reported she was missing and hadn't shown up to their Thanksgiving dinner. Evidence from surveillance cameras and geographic data led investigators to suspect Chen in the case, and he was arrested at his parent's Nolensville, Tennessee, home within days.

Pace's body was found with 60 stab wounds, according to an autopsy report, and had been placed in the fetal position inside trash bags in a suitcase.

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for Chen without the possibility of parole, Wamp said in a previous hearing.

Chen has been detained at the Hamilton County Jail since November on a $5 million bond.

His attorney alleged in a December letter that Chen has been denied water and toiletries and has been placed in freezing cold cells and one covered in feces.

(READ MORE: Chattanooga attorney claims Jason Chen facing torture-like conditions at Silverdale Detention Center)

Weiss also filed a motion in June asking for Chen's indictment to be vacated, saying he was denied access to body camera footage.

Contact Ellen Gerst at egerst@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6319.


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