Guilty verdict reached in Starr Harris murder trial - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Guilty verdict reached in Starr Harris murder trial

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Starr Harris Starr Harris

(WMC-TV) – A jury has found Rickey Bell guilty of raping and beating a Drummonds, TN, woman to death after an argument over his paycheck.

It took less than three hours for the jury to find Bell guilty on all four counts.  He was sentenced to death for killing Starr Harris, a mother of three.

Bell's family declined to speak after the verdict was read.

Tonya Aloia, Starr Harris' sister, said the verdict was a triumph for a woman who loved her family.

"I feel that my sister can finally rest in peace and she can finally know that the person who took her away from all her family and everybody that was important to her can never hurt anybody else again," said Aloia.  "I think that is her final victory."

Rick Harris, Starr Harris' husband, shed tears.

"Justice in the law, I think that justice has been served," he said.  "You know, I feel sorry for my family and his family, too."

After dark on June 1, 2010, Harris' badly beaten body was found in the woods behind her Drummonds house. Investigators believe she died between 1:30 and 2:16 p.m.

"People say closure," said Rick Harris.  "There's no closure, we all miss her."

Neighbors testified that they saw a man fitting Bell's description leaving the area.

"A black gentleman," is how neighbor Carol Redditt described the man she saw when she was called to testify. "He was wearing all black."

Carol Redditt's husband, Tommy Redditt, said he recognized the man as an employee of the Harris' business. He said he saw Bell milling about the Harris' front porch.

"He seemed unusual, but you know, I didn't know," he said. "I didn't know if he was standing out there waiting for Rick or one of the other workers maybe to come back and get him."

Tommy Redditt's son, Andrew Michael Redditt, was on the Harris' basketball court when he said Bell approached him.

"He asked me where little Josh was," said Andrew Michael Redditt.

He said he saw Bell and Harris interact just before 1:30 that afternoon.

"He walked into the house," said Andrew Michael Redditt.

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