Man on trial for murdering, raping Drummonds mom - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man on trial for murdering, raping Drummonds mom

Starr Harris Starr Harris

(WMC-TV) – Opening statements kicked off the murder trial of a man accused of beating a Drummonds, TN, mother to death.

Rickey Bell is charged with first degree murder for the death of Starr Harris.

"Rickey Alvis Bell, Jr. did unlawfully kill Starr Lynn Harris in perpetration of rape," said a prosecutor as he read off the charges against Rickey Bell, who maintains his innocence.

Bell worked for the Harris' lawn care service.

On June 1, 2010, Starr Harris' body was discovered in the woods behind the family home.

Prosecutors say her final moments started with an argument with Bell over his earnings. Bell apparently believed he was owed $350 and instead received $50.

Bell is accused of threatening Harris with a lighter made to look like a gun. He allegedly forced her into the woods, raped her, beat her and left her to die.

But defense attorneys claim otherwise.

They say Bell not only didn't kill Harris, but that he didn't even argue with her over his paycheck.

The jury is sequestered. As such, the judge plans to work well into the night everyday of this trial, perhaps as late as nine o'clock in the evening.

He hopes to finish by week's end.

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