Tipton County sends first inmate to death row - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tipton County sends first inmate to death row

Rickey Bell, photo courtesy Tipton County Jail. Rickey Bell, photo courtesy Tipton County Jail.

(WMC-TV) – The man found guilty of murdering a Tipton County mother of three now sits on Tennessee's death row.

Rickey Bell was transported to Riverbend Maximum Security Prison in Nashville last week.

Bell is now the 86th inmate living on Tennessee's death row.

"We're just glad for the family of the victims, and that just prevailed," says District Attorney Mike Dunavant.

Rickey Bell was found guilty for murdering Starr Harris.

Just hours after the verdict was read, Bell was sentenced to death -- the first person to be sentenced to death by a Tipton County jury.

"We knew a lot about Mr. Bell before we were allowed to disclose that to the public or the jury. We felt like we had an understanding of the violent person he was," Dunavant adds.

Life on death row will be quite different for Rickey Bell.

He'll be segregated from other inmates and given three meals a day Monday through Friday. On weekends, it's two meals per day.

So what's the cost of keeping Bell and others on death row?

It's $64.83 per day for routine inmates. If you're on death row, it's $94.74 per day.

In comparison, it only costs $44.70 per day to educate a student in Tipton County schools.

Rickey Bell has been sentenced to die by lethal injection.

Tipton County's district attorney says it was good physical and forensic evidence that sealed Bell's fate.

"I can say with a doubt that this case was worked outstandingly from top to bottom, beginning to end by the Tipton County Sheriff's Office and the TBI," says Dunavant.

Rickey Bell is scheduled to be back in a Tipton County courtroom May 4th for sentencing on the rape and kidnapping charges.

A motion for a trial will be heard in July.

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