published Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Judge denies defendant's requests for separation

Patrick Carmody, 45, is led Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, in Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman's courtroom for a hearing to request a separate trial from codefendant Billy Bob Partin, 40, (not pictured) for charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery in the 2010 slaying of Chance LeCroy. Judge Steelman denied Carmody's request.
Patrick Carmody, 45, is led Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, in Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman's courtroom for a hearing to request a separate trial from codefendant Billy Bob Partin, 40, (not pictured) for charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery in the 2010 slaying of Chance LeCroy. Judge Steelman denied Carmody's request.
Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Patrick Carmody wants to go to trial, just not with his co-defendant.

Carmody is one of two men charged in the Sept. 9, 2010, shooting death of Chance LeCroy, 21. Lawyers met at a hearing Monday before Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman to review requests Carmody has made through his attorney, John Allen Brooks.

Carmody, 45, asked Steelman to separate the trials of he and Billy Bob Partin, 40, and to set a trial date.

Steelman denied the request for separate trials but did schedule a trial for the pair on Jan. 28, 2014.

The third man arrested in connection with LeCroy's death was the topic of most of Brooks' requests to Steelman.

Ronald Lee Pittman, 43, has been free on $100,000 bond and subject to monitoring since testifying against the other two men. Prosecutors charged Pittman with facilitation of especially aggravated robbery but not with murder in LeCroy's shooting death.

Brooks has reviewed testimony and wants to know why Pittman has not been charged in a conspiracy along with Carmody and Partin.

"It's pretty clear to me Mr. Pittman was the criminal mastermind of the whole thing," Brooks told the judge.

But Steelman wasn't moved.

He denied a "bill of particulars" request by Brooks. The bill is a legal filing that gives more specifics to the crime and everyone's part in it as indicted. But prosecutor Neal Pinkston explained that Pittman was not charged in the conspiracy but still faces the facilitation charge.

Brooks told Steelman that the way the case has been charged challenges his ability to question Pittman if he takes the stand against Carmody. Since Pittman isn't charged in the slaying, Brooks cannot challenge whether he was involved in planning LeCroy's death.

Steelman said he did not see a problem that would present an unfair trial for Brooks' client.

LeCroy's killing saw no court action for nearly two years after his death until police arrested the three men in 2012.

Carmody and Partin have been held in jail since their arrest.

Pittman testified in a preliminary hearing in General Sessions Court that they'd planned to rob LeCroy and his roommate Tucker King at their 1211 Johnston Terrace home in Hixson for drugs and money.

During his testimony in August 2012, Pittman said he held a gun on King as Carmody shot LeCroy and then the two fought and Partin shot LeCroy a second time, killing him.

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP.

about Todd South...

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 ...

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