published Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Hearing is delayed for man held in death of East Ridge woman

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The arraignment for a man accused of killing a 70-year-old East Ridge woman has been delayed for two more weeks.

In East Ridge City Court on Tuesday, the case against Randall Reed was moved to July 19 at the request of prosecutors, who said they needed more time to confirm witnesses and gather evidence.

Reed, 43, has been charged with first-degree murder in the June 15 death of Jane Stokes. He also is charged with aggravated robbery, accused of taking her credit cards and using them in the hours after her death.

He is being held without bond.

About two dozen friends and relative of Stokes gathered at court Tuesday to watch the proceedings.

East Ridge police say Stokes, who was a longtime resident of 707 Hardin Drive, suffocated after a plastic bag was bound around her head and her hands were tied behind her back. A neighbor found her body on the floor of a bedroom in her home.

Neighbors told police that Stokes had hired Reed to help make repairs to her storm-damaged home several weeks before her death.

Meanwhile, the investigation into Stokes’ death still is open, East Ridge police spokesman Erik Hopkins said Tuesday.

“Just because the charges are filed in the case doesn’t mean we’ve finished compiling information. Investigators are still following up on leads,” he said.

He said he was not aware of any more suspects in the case.

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