By Callie Starnes and WRCB Staff

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – Police are calling it one of the worst cases they've seen in recent years.

Pastor David Strong was found dead in his home early Sunday morning.

Charles Elliot noticed Strong's trash can left on the curb. He, and church members, assumed Strong was away on business.

"They assumed he was in Memphis too," said Elliot, "that's the reason why he laid there for so long."

Chattanooga Police Assistant Chief Tim Carroll held a news conference Monday morning to discuss the latest on the investigation into the murder.

According to Carroll, 25-year-old Antonio Henry and a 16-year-old suspect have been arrested and charged with Strong's murder.

"He was beaten, stabbed, his throat was cut and objects smashed on his head," Carroll told reporters.

Carroll told Channel 3 Strong's body was already beginning to decompose when investigators found his home ransacked.

An officer found his front door open after two men were found driving Strong's car.

Police charged the driver, Antonio Henry, with Strong's murder. His 16 year-old cousin is also charged. A third person was taken for questioning but does not face charges.

Both admitted to the crime.

"There plan was to go do a robbery," said Carroll, "I think the quote was 'lets go hit a lick', which is street slang for do a robbery."

Carroll said Henry knew Strong and hoped to steal his debit card.

When Strong wouldn't give the two his pin number they beat him. Eventually, they cut his throat.

Authorities say it is unclear the connection Henry had to the pastor.

"I just know he's known him for four or five years," said Carroll.

Monday, Strong's trash can still sat on the curb. neighbors say it's a painful reminder of days gone by.

"To find out he had been there all week was the shocking part," said Elliot, "and nobody really knew."

Police say both suspects have ties to local gangs.

Antonio Henry is being held at the Hamilton County Jail on a $375,000 bond. He is due in court next week.

District Attorney Bill Cox filed a petition in juvenile court to have the 16 year-old teen tried as an adult.

If that happens the teenager's name will be released.

This is the seventeenth homicide in Chattanooga this year.



CHATTANOOGA, (WRCB)-- Two people are in custody, charged with felony murder and especially aggravated homicide for the brutal killing of Pastor David Strong.

Antonio Henry, 25, and a 16-year-old male were arrested late Sunday night.

Investigators say the two conspired to rob the pastor of money and valuables but ended up killing him.

Strong's body was discovered Sunday after two men were stopped by police while driving his car

An autopsy reveals that Pastor Strong had been beaten, stabbed multiple times and strangled.