published Friday, September 20th, 2013

Jarrod Pickett gets 12 years on Marion County charges

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    Jarrod Pickett was charged with Criminal Homicide for the murder of Kenneth Hudson.

A South Pittsburg, Tenn., man accused in the February 2011 shooting of a 50-year-old Marion County resident pleaded guilty to a homicide charge and an unrelated methamphetamine charge that together netted him 12 years in prison.

Jarrod Pickett, 26 at the time he was charged, on Wednesday was sentenced on guilty pleas to reduced charges of reckless homicide, a class D felony, in the death of Kenneth Hudson, court records show. Pickett originally faced a class A felony charge of first-degree murder.

Circuit Court Judge Thomas Graham sentenced Pickett to four years in prison the homicide charge to run consecutive to an eight-year sentence on his plea to a class D felony charge of promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, records show.

Pickett got the meth charge in February while he was free on bond awaiting trial, according to Mike Taylor, 12th Judicial District attorney general.

Taylor said the Feb. 6, 2013, drug charge violated Pickett's bond and he was placed back in custody on Feb. 20.

State law requires that in a charge acquired while a defendant is free on bond, the sentence in a conviction on the bonded count and the newly filed charge must be served consecutively, Taylor said. Prosecutors sought a combined sentence of 12 years, he said.

In 2011, Pickett was identified as the suspected shooter a couple of days after the discovery of Hudson's body on Shellmound Road between Interstate 24 and Nickajack Dam, newspaper archives show.

A girl, 17 at the time, testified in a 2011 preliminary hearing that she was sitting between the two men when the fatal shot was fired.

The girl testified that before the trip on Shellmound Road, the two men were talking about guns and showing weapons to each other. Pickett then commented that he had no bullets for his gun, and Hudson showed his loaded revolver, she testified.

The men got in an argument over a missed turn, eventually winding up on Shellmound Road. The girl testified that Hudson suddenly stopped the truck, tried to pull out his weapon and a struggle for the gun ensued with her in the middle.

Pickett got possession of the gun and fired it into the back of Hudson's head, the girl testified. After Hudson was shot, he was shoved out of the rolling pickup truck. His body was found by a mail carrier the next day.

Pickett then fled to Hamilton County, where he was captured at a Chattanooga motel on Feb. 9, 2011, newspaper archives show.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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