Rickey Bell was sentenced to death by the State of Tennessee for the sexual assault and murder of a woman. According to court documents Rickey Bell would kidnap the victim, Starr Harris, who would be sexually assaulted and murdered. Rickey Bell was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
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A crime victim’s family hopes a sentencing Friday will close another chapter in their long ordeal.
Rickey Bell, who’s already sentenced to death for the 2010 murder of a Drummonds, Tennessee woman, was back in Tipton County Court.
Friday he was sentenced for kidnapping and raping of Starr Harris, the woman he murdered in 2010.
Rickey Bell was wearing a maximum-security jumpsuit from the Tennessee Department of Corrections when he entered a Tipton County courtroom Friday.
Family and friends of Starr Harris watched silently.
Bell was sentenced to death for the woman’s murder but was brought from
Riverbend Prison in Nashville for sentencing on two non-capitol counts…especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual battery.
District Attorney General Mike Dunavant says the sentences are part of the criminal proceedings against Bell.
“We want to make sure that we get the full measure of justice against Mr. Bell that we received from the jury verdict. which includes those two counts.”
Circuit Court Judge Joe Walker considered Bell’s lengthy criminal history in sentencing him to two twenty year sentences for the non-capitol counts, time added to his death sentence.
DNA evidence connected Bell to Starr Harris’ rape and murder.
Her badly beaten body was found in the rear of her home and business in Drummonds.
Judge Walker said of Bell’s criminal history, “That he’s a dangerous offender, whose behavior indicates little or no regard for human life.”
During Friday’s sentencing Circuit Judge Joe Walker allowed an emotional video tribute to Starr Harris to be played.
The video shows the mother of three surrounded by some of the people who loved her and miss her nearly two years after her death.
People like her husband, Thomas Harris, Junior.
“That’s all we have now is pictures and videotapes and stuff like that. and I still carry her cell phone where I hear her voice, you know.”
Rickey Bell’s defense attorneys are expected to file an automatic appeal to their client’s death sentence.