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Criminal cases against two people charged in a Sept. 25 quadruple murder in McMinn County, Tennessee, have been bound over to the grand jury.
Jazzmine Jacole Hall, 26, of Athens, Tennessee, and Curtis Donnell Smith, 38, of Etowah, Tennessee, appeared in McMinn County General Sessions Court on Thursday on four counts of first-degree murder and felony murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.
The pair put lawyers on record and waived their rights to a preliminary hearing, court officials said Friday.
Hall and Smith are charged in slayings authorities said were related to a dispute over a 10-month-old baby that left Trevon Hall, 36, in addition to Skylar Hawn, 24, Jesse Dupree, 40, and Brandi Harris, 39, dead in a home on County Road 60 in McMinn County’s Riceville community. The baby is the child of the now-dead Trevon Hall and Jazzmine Hall, authorities said.
McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy said during the investigation the slayings were among the worst homicides in county history and the tragedy had affected multiple local families. The four killings were among six homicides in the county in a week’s time, making it the deadliest week ever in McMinn County.
Smith’s lawyer, Knoxville-attorney Wesley Stone, declined to comment on the case now headed to the McMinn County grand jury.
McMinn County Jail records show Hall and Smith remain behind bars without bond.
A few weeks ago, a Bradley County police canine, Joker, was shot while attempting to apprehend suspects, according to a Cleveland Police Department spokeswoman.
This past Tuesday, Joker was discharged from the Animal Emergency & Specialty Center of Chattanooga.
The same day Joker was able to go home, a local representative felt the need to take action.
“Joker’s Law,” said Tennessee representative Mark Hall (R-Cleveland). Hall wants to make punishments stricter for those who injure or kill police canines. The minimum sentencing is currently one year, Hall wants it to be longer. Hall is proposing legislation that would make it an automatic Class C felony. A Class C felony would make the minimum sentencing three years.
Tim Siniard reports: The attorney for Miranda Cheatham, the Cleveland woman who in 2019 was convicted of second-degree murder for the shooting death of her husband, James “Tooter” Cheatham, will file an appeal to reverse a Tennessee senior judge’s decision to deny her request for a new trial.
Bill Speek, Miranda Cheatham’s attorney, told the Cleveland Daily Banner he was “fully confident the [Tennessee] Criminal Court of Appeals will not allow a conviction to stand, when you’ve had the kind of inappropriate conduct involved in its prosecution.”
He said he expected the appeal would be filed within the next 30 to 45 days.
Speek said it was difficult to determine when the appeal would get a court date.
He said the criminal appeals court has not heard oral arguments in more than a year. However, he expects the court will hear Cheatham’s appeal by this time next year.