Three Arrests in Loudon County Murder

Lenoir City (WVLT) - Two men and one woman face charges in the murder of a Lenoir City man whose body was found Wednesday at a campground site.

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt has the details.

In just 48 hours, authorities were able to charge three people with the murder of 18-year-old Stephen Michael Booth. 22-year-old Stephen Andrew Bridges, 21-year-old Jessica Nicole Ward and 19-year-old Jonathan Vincent Hurst are all charged with first degree murder and especially aggravated robbery.

A situation Loudon County hasn't dealt with in a long time.

It's the first murder in three years in Loudon County and in just 48 hours, authorities were able to charge three people with the crime.

22-year-old Stephen Andrew Bridges, 21-year-old Jessica Nicole Ward and 19-year-old Jonathan Vincent Hurst are all charged with first degree murder and especially aggravated robbery after 18-year-old Stephen Michael Booth's body was found in the Yarberry Peninsula Recreation Area on Wednesday. Deputies say they believe their intent was to rob him.

"Mr. Booth still had some money on his person, however I think he may have had a good amount more, and they missed this particular amount," Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider said.

Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider says Booth was lured to the campground by Ward.

"They drove over to the location, the other two male subjects followed and hid out for a few moments and then an attack occurred," Guider said.

Sheriff Guider says Booth had wounds around his eye and face.

"Things got out of hand, and a struggle ensued, and a weapon was present and ultimately he was shot in the top of the head," Guider said.

Sheriff Guider says they believe bridges was the shooter.

He also says they think the two men were acquaintances of Booth, and Ward was a former girlfriend. Sheriff Guider says it was a team effort to break the case.

"Any murder is significant and of concern, but we kind of pride ourselves that we have no more than what we've had in several years," Guider said.

The sheriff says along with the department's deputies and investigators, invaluable and numerous citizen tips and information, TVA Police, and the Knoxville Police Department, they were able to charge these people this quickly. The three will appear in court on Monday, no bond has been set.

Be sure to stay with Volunteer TV and for the latest on this Breaking News.

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  • by Earl Location: Flordia on Jan 16, 2008 at 12:44 AM
    This is the United States of America where a person is not quilty until a jury decides that there is enough evidence to prove that he is. That is the way our forefathers layed out our Court System. So where is the Due Process in this case. Mr. Bridges is not quilty until proven to be quilty. I personally have known Steven Bridges for 13 years and I know he is not a person who would or could just murder someone. His heart would not let him. There is more to the story that what is out in the open for the public to see. If we are carefull another case will be sweep underneath the rug, so to speak and we the people will not know the whole truth of this case. Just because the defendant (Bridges) does not have thousands of dollars to defend hiself, does not mean that he is quilty of murder. Before we send this young man away for something that we don't know. We should make sure he has the best defense he could possibly have. Afterall that is the way Our FOREFATHERS designed our legal system.
  • by brittney Location: onieda / lenoir city on Nov 30, 2007 at 12:42 PM
    steven was such a great person ! i loved spending time with him he always made me smile:)yes he was in alot of stuff that was nothing but trouble but that does not mean he was a bad person .he had a loving heart n i loved that . i remember goin to the bluffs over the summer w/him n i was scared to jump off w/him but he did :)his face full of joy that day many memories that i reminences of him every day . i miss&have him in my heart always ! steven remember that night we got our tattoo 2 \gether n u held my hand :)every day ur thought of :( "like a tattoo ill always have you"
  • by Andrea Location: Kingston on Oct 2, 2007 at 12:10 PM
    Thank goodness these guys were caught. Prayers go out to these families but it is an answered prayer that these people are off the street so soon...goes to show connections don't get you anywhere when you MURDER someone.
  • by Darlene Location: Knoxville on Sep 29, 2007 at 09:29 AM
    I can't believe they charged 3 people when my father was murdered they only charged one. Even though this was almost the same kinda deal
  • by baaba Location: Knoxville on Sep 28, 2007 at 07:25 PM
    Now this is good police work!!!! This is what the FBI & TBI can bring into a murder investigation. Murder occurred on TVA Property which is Federally protected. Good professional job Loudon County Police department, Sheriff, TBI & FBI. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Booth Family.


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