Trial for man accused of smothering woman underway - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Trial for man accused of smothering woman underway

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Autopsy report as Dr. Frank King takes the stand. Autopsy report as Dr. Frank King takes the stand.
Randall Reed takes the stand. Randall Reed takes the stand.

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- The trial for a man accused of smothering a woman then robbing her is underway in Hamilton County.

Reed faces first degree murder and especially aggravated robbery charges for the murder of 70-year-old Jane Stokes at her home in June of 2011.

District Attorneys began showing evidence and calling witnesses Wednesday.
A Tennessee Bureau of Investigations agent was called to the stand first. The DA showed the zip ties used on the victim.

Police say they found five ties in Stokes' room and two in Reed's car.

Travis Wright from First Tennessee Bank was called to the stand next. He testified Reed used. Stokes' bank card on East 23rd Street.

Dr. Frank King, retired Hamilton County medical examiner, also took the stand.

King testified plastic wrap was found around the victim's head and she had several body contusions and abrasions and says Stokes was alive for many of the abrasions and contusions.

He estimates Stokes died between 5 and 7 a.m. on June 15.

Reed took the stand after he says he felt forced. He testified he never stepped foot in Stokes' home and the zip ties found in his car were used for construction work, and it's a coincidence his zip ties were at the home. 

He says he was told by a drug dealer friend to take the bank card and get money with it.

He also testified he doesn't know how Stokes' DNA got on his shirt. He says it was probably transferred from someone else.

Reed says he turned himself in after seeing the news.


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