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Thread: Rickey Alvis Bell, Jr. - Tennessee Death Row

  1. #1
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    Rickey Alvis Bell, Jr. - Tennessee Death Row

    Starr Harris

    Guilty verdict reached in Starr Harris murder trial

    A jury has found Rickey Bell guilty of raping and beating a Drummonds, TN, woman to death after an argument over his paycheck.

    Bell faces the death penalty for killing Starr Harris, a mother of three.

    After dark on June 1, 2010, Harris' badly beaten body was found in the woods behind her Drummonds house. Investigators believe she died between 1:30 and 2:16 p.m.

    Neighbors testified that they saw a man fitting Bell's description leaving the area.

    "A black gentleman," is how neighbor Carol Redditt described the man she saw when she was called to testify. "He was wearing all black."

    Carol Reddit's husband, Tommy Redditt, said he recognized the man as an employee of the Harris' business. He said he saw Bell milling about the Harris' front porch.

    "He seemed unusual, but you know, I didn't know," he said. "I didn't know if he was standing out there waiting for Rick or one of the other workers maybe to come back and get him."

    Tommy Redditt's son, Andrew Michael Redditt, was on the Harris' basketball court when he said Bell approached him.

    "He asked me where little Josh was," said Andrew Michael Redditt.

    He said he saw Bell and Harris interact just before 1:30 that afternoon.

    "He walked into the house," said Andrew Michael Redditt.

    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  2. #2
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Starr Harris' daughter speaks out for first time since her mother's death

    For the very first time since her death, Starr Harris' daughter is speaking out about life without her mom and her murder trial that just ended on Friday.

    "She wouldn't see me go to high school, see me graduate, go to prom, get married, have children," says Starr Harris' daughter Brenna Cullum.

    It's been nearly two years since her mother's death.

    Brenna Cullum was just thirteen-years-old when her mother, Starr Harris, was murdered behind her Drummonds, Tennessee home.

    The man charged in Harris' death, Rickey Bell, has now been sentenced to death.

    "He's not a person at all, he's a monster, he had it coming," she adds.

    Brenna Cullum says her mother's murder trial was too much for her to attend last week.

    She says she's tried to remain strong since Starr's death.

    Up until recently, she wrote letters to her mother.

    She says there's not a minute that doesn't go by that she doesn't feel her mom's presence.

    "She used to sing me lullabies when I was little and till the day she died, she was like O Brenna, you don't let me sing a lullaby anymore, and it makes me sad, you're growing up," Cullum adds.

    And as Starr Harris' three children grow up without their mother, they say they can try to move on with the rest of their lives now that the trial is over and Rickey Bell has been punished for his crime.

    "I was scared that maybe there was someway he could get off and they've never find him but now I feel like justice has been served," she continues.

    Rickey Bell was found guilty on all four counts, including murder, rape and kidnapping.

    He was sentenced to death on the murder charges.

    He's set to be sentenced on the murder and kidnapping and rape charges May 4th.

    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  3. #3
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Tipton County sends first inmate to death row

    The man found guilty of murdering a Tipton County mother of three now sits on Tennessee's death row.

    Rickey Bell was transported to Riverbend Maximum Security Prison in Nashville last week.

    Bell is now the 86th inmate living on Tennessee's death row.

    "We're just glad for the family of the victims, and that just prevailed," says District Attorney Mike Dunavant.

    Rickey Bell was found guilty for murdering Starr Harris.

    Just hours after the verdict was read, Bell was sentenced to death -- the first person to be sentenced to death by a Tipton County jury.

    "We knew a lot about Mr. Bell before we were allowed to disclose that to the public or the jury. We felt like we had an understanding of the violent person he was," Dunavant adds.

    Life on death row will be quite different for Rickey Bell.

    He'll be segregated from other inmates and given three meals a day Monday through Friday. On weekends, it's two meals per day.

    So what's the cost of keeping Bell and others on death row?

    It's $64.83 per day for routine inmates. If you're on death row, it's $94.74 per day.

    In comparison, it only costs $44.70 per day to educate a student in Tipton County schools.

    Rickey Bell has been sentenced to die by lethal injection.

    Tipton County's district attorney says it was good physical and forensic evidence that sealed Bell's fate.

    "I can say with a doubt that this case was worked outstandingly from top to bottom, beginning to end by the Tipton County Sheriff's Office and the TBI," says Dunavant.

    Rickey Bell is scheduled to be back in a Tipton County courtroom May 4th for sentencing on the rape and kidnapping charges.

    A motion for a trial will be heard in July.

    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  4. #4
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Man On Death Row Gets Additional Sentence

    A crime victims family hopes a sentencing Friday will close another chapter in their long ordeal.

    Rickey Bell, whos already sentenced to death for the 2010 murder of a Drummonds, Tennessee woman, was back in Tipton County Court.

    Friday he was sentenced for kidnapping and raping of Starr Harris, the woman he murdered in 2010.

    Rickey Bell was wearing a maximum-security jumpsuit from the Tennessee Department of Corrections when he entered a Tipton County courtroom Friday.

    Family and friends of Starr Harris watched silently.

    Bell was sentenced to death for the womans murder but was brought from

    Riverbend Prison in Nashville for sentencing on two non-capitol countsespecially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual battery.

    District Attorney General Mike Dunavant says the sentences are part of the criminal proceedings against Bell.

    We want to make sure that we get the full measure of justice against Mr. Bell that we received from the jury verdict. which includes those two counts.

    Circuit Court Judge Joe Walker considered Bells lengthy criminal history in sentencing him to two twenty year sentences for the non-capitol counts, time added to his death sentence.

    DNA evidence connected Bell to Starr Harris rape and murder.

    Her badly beaten body was found in the rear of her home and business in Drummonds.

    Judge Walker said of Bells criminal history, That hes a dangerous offender, whose behavior indicates little or no regard for human life.

    During Fridays sentencing Circuit Judge Joe Walker allowed an emotional video tribute to Starr Harris to be played.

    The video shows the mother of three surrounded by some of the people who loved her and miss her nearly two years after her death.

    People like her husband, Thomas Harris, Junior.

    Thats all we have now is pictures and videotapes and stuff like that. and I still carry her cell phone where I hear her voice, you know.

    Rickey Bells defense attorneys are expected to file an automatic appeal to their clients death sentence.

    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  5. #5
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    State Supreme Court Upholds Conviction, Death Penalty For Tipton County Man

    The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty for the man who kidnapped, sexually abused, and murdered a woman in west Tennessee in 2010.

    Rickey Alvis Bell, Jr. appealed his conviction and sentence after a trial court found him guilty of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual battery, and two alternative counts of first-degree felony murder.

    The jury sentenced Bell to death for the first-degree murder conviction.

    The Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the convictions and sentence, despite finding that two of the four aggravating circumstances that warranted the death penalty were not supported by the record.

    The Supreme Court, which is required to review all death penalty cases, also considered five other issues on appeal. The first issue was whether it was proper for the state to seek the death penalty in light of Bell’s possible intellectual disability.

    The court determined that the defense failed to prove that Bell suffered from an intellectual disability that would make him ineligible for the death penalty.

    The court also upheld the constitutionality of Tennessee’s law on this subject, concluding that defendants are permitted to present evidence of intellectual capacity in addition to I.Q. test scores, thereby avoiding constitutional issues.

    Next, the court reviewed Bell’s two motions for mistrial based on testimony that he previously had been incarcerated, which typically is not admissible.

    The court determined that the brief testimony was not elicited by the state and was lacking in detail, that the trial court properly instructed the jury not to consider that statement, and that the other facts presented in the case were enough to outweigh any effect that limited testimony may have had on the jury.

    The court also reviewed the trial court’s decision to prohibit any testimony regarding the husband’s extramarital affair with his ex-wife, which was ongoing at the time of the crime.

    The court agreed with Bell that the evidence was crucial to his defense, but determined that, in light of the entire record and the overall strength of the state’s case, the information would not have altered the jury’s verdict.

    Bell next challenged whether the evidence was sufficient to support his convictions, an issue that often is appealed. After a trial court finds a defendant guilty, the burden shifts to the defendant on appeal to prove that the jury should not have convicted him.The court determined that the proof was sufficient to support the convictions.

    Finally, the court reviewed the evidence supporting the aggravating circumstances as part of its mandatory review of the death sentence. Before a defendant is sentenced to death, the state is required to prove at least one aggravating circumstance in the perpetration of the crime.

    These circumstances include factors such as previous convictions for violent felonies, the atrociousness of the crime, and whether a rape and/or kidnapping was committed during a murder.

    In this case, the trial court found that four aggravating circumstances applied. However, upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that two of those factors did not apply.

    First, Mr. Bell’s 1997 sentence from Pennsylvania did not involve a violent felony. Secondly, the trial court permitted the jury to apply the aggravating factors of the rape and kidnapping twice, when the law only permits one application.

    Nonetheless, the court determined that the two remaining aggravating circumstances apply, and supported the death sentence. The Court also determined the sentence was not disproportionate to other similar sentences.

    In a dissent written by Chief Justice Sharon Lee and joined by Justice Gary Wade, the two members of the Court disagreed with the majority on the issue of the defense presenting evidence of the husband’s extramarital affair.

    Chief Justice Lee wrote that the evidence against Bell was not overwhelming and the trial court hindered Bell’s defense by prohibiting him from presenting evidence of the victim’s husband’s affair.

    To read the majority opinion in State v. Rickey Alvis Bell, Jr., authored by Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins, and the dissent by Chief Justice Lee, go to the opinions section of TNCourts.gov.


  6. #6
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    In today's orders, the United States Supreme Court declined to review Bell's petition for certiorari.

    Lower Ct: Supreme Court of Tennessee, Western Division
    Case Nos.: (W2012-02017-CCA-R3-DD)
    Decision Date: September 10, 2015


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