Ricky Dean Smith sentenced to 15 years in assault on baby
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Jan 12, 2014 | 1795 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print


Ricky Dean Smith, 23, pleaded no contest and will spend 15 years in prison for assaulting his then, 5-week-old son.

He entered his plea this week to Judge Carroll Ross in Bradley County Criminal Court.

In early January 2013, Smith’s son was taken to T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital in Chattanooga and evaluated for brain and skull injuries.

Department of Children’s Services officials were notified, who in turn contacted the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

“The investigation shows the injuries were apparently sustained Jan. 2, 2013, while the infant was being cared for by his father,” according to Bob Gault, media relations coordinator for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

Smith was indicted by a Bradley County Grand Jury. He was arrested and charged with the crime and then ordered held without bond. He is now in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

The child reportedly suffered from brain bleeding as well as injuries to his skull.

- An August trial date has been set for Alina Sherlin, 43, who was charged with first-degree murder in early August 2013 in the shooting of Robert Dewayne Julian, 45.

Sherlin was freed on $100,000 bond after making an initial appearance in a Bradley County court.

According to reports from the Cleveland Police Department, officers responded to a welfare check at Sherlin’s Greenwood Avenue home. Sherlin reportedly texted several friends telling them she had shot Julian.

Police arrived on the scene and found Julian inside the Greenwood Avenue residence.

According to an affidavit, officers noted a rifle on the floor near Julian’s body.

They determined Julian had died “from a single, small caliber bullet to his chest.”

During the bond hearing, Sherlin’s attorney, James Logan, mentioned the fact that police had responded to the residence just a few hours before the alleged shooting, referencing a domestic disturbance.

A status date was set for Aug. 11 with the trial set to begin Aug. 12.

- Former Bradley Central High School assistant girls basketball coach Richard Kyle Copeland, is scheduled to appear in Bradley County Criminal Court in March.

He will be represented by attorney James Logan.

Copeland, 33, was indicted by a Bradley County grand jury in November and charged with four counts of solicitation of a minor for statutory rape by an authority figure and three counts of solicitation of a minor for sexual exploitation of a minor.

The indictment stemmed from an investigation by the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division.

According to investigators, one female student contacted investigators with allegations of an “inappropriate relationship.”

Investigators also learned three other female students had complaints against Copeland.

Copeland was immediately placed on unpaid administrative leave Sept. 5 by Bradley County Schools Director Johnny McDaniel.

He resigned his position at BCHS after the indictment was handed down.

According to Assistant District Attorney General Stephen Hatchett, electronic communications such as cellphone and computer activity indicated an application named “Snapchat” was reportedly downloaded on Copeland’s cell phone. Copeland’s school computer also allegedly had evidence stored.

Copeland is set to appear March 3.