The Hamilton County grand jury has indicted two teens on charges of murder and aggravated assault in the March shooting death of a 25-year-old Chattanooga man.
Edward L. Ryals and Demetrius Bibbs, both 18, are scheduled to appear May 6 before Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern. They each are charged with one count of first-degree murder and one of aggravated assault.
Police arrested Ryals and Bibbs after Ronald Blackmon Jr. died March 5 from a .38-caliber gunshot to his head.
The medical examiner’s report showed that the bullet entered the side of Blackmon’s head near the left ear.
Police have reported that the gunman may have mistaken Blackmon for someone else.
Ryals told police he thought Blackmon was a man nicknamed Lil’ Rob, someone Ryals thought shot at him two nights before, according to an arrest report.
Blackmon’s friend Jamaal Ashley told police that gunmen stopped in a black and gray vehicle, pulled a gun and fired several shots, one of which struck and killed Blackmon, according to newspaper archives.
Police previously have stated that Ryals, Bibbs and Blackmon had gang ties.
Bibbs and Ryals are in custody at the Hamilton County Jail.
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...