published Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Chattanooga police charge man in DeSha slaying

Chattanooga police arrested and charged a man in the death of 75-year-old JoAnn DeSha on the same day she was laid to rest.

Reginald Mapp, 20, was charged with felony murder, aggravated robbery and especially aggravated robbery Friday.

DeSha was found strangled to death in her home at 2302 Marco Circle a week ago -- less than a half-mile from Mapp's listed address at 2330 Marco Circle.

Police said the pair interacted before DeSha's death when Mapp approached DeSha and asked to buy an old gray Cadillac sedan that was parked in her driveway. DeSha refused to sell him the car because it belonged to her late husband, according to police.

The car, which has license plates dating back to the 1990s, was still parked in DeSha's driveway this week.

There was no sign of forced entry at DeSha's home in the Meadowbrook Heights subdivision. She was choked to death with the cord from a vacuum cleaner, police said.

Mapp is currently in custody at the Hamilton County Jail. He pleaded guilty in February 2011 to a burglary charge and was sentenced to three years.

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