Anderson gets life sentence

By ALLEN MINCEY
Posted 12/8/17

Ross Anderson, the man arrested for the 2015 deaths of a mother and her child, was sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole, in a Bradley County court Thursday.Anderson was …

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Anderson gets life sentence

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Ross Anderson, the man arrested for the 2015 deaths of a mother and her child, was sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole, in a Bradley County court Thursday.

Anderson was arrested for the murders of Rachael Johnson and her 5-year-old son Colton at their home at 239 Hillview Drive N.W.

According to Bradley County Criminal Court records, the convictions for Anderson will run concurrently, which means he will serve time for both murders at the same time.

Anderson's address was the same as the victims. Cleveland Police said Rachael Johnson was found at the home with a bullet wound to the head, while her son was shot in the face while reportedly bathing.

The accused man reportedly fled from Bradley County to Rutherford County, where he was taken into custody by the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office. He was eventually taken from Murfeesboro, where he had been assessed due to actions that law enforcement said were consistent with someone with a mental condition. He was brought back to Southeast Tennessee, where police transported him to Moccasin Bend mental facility in Chattanooga for further evaluation.

During the time he was in custody, he reportedly admitted to the murders.

Tenth Judicial District Attorney General Steve Crump said he hates having to deal with a homicide involving a child, but knows his office has a job to do.

"I sought the death penalty ... but feared that this murderer would be released back on the public by an insanity verdict or decision from an appellate court. So we pled the case," Crump said on his Facebook page. "And the mother of Rachel and the grandmother of Colton [were] thankful that her saved and redeemed daughter died and not some unbeliever who would lose the chance of salvation. It was the most remarkable thing I have ever seen as a lawyer."

Crump said the plea was agreed to because "there was a significant chance that he would have been found not guilty by reason of insanity by a jury or appellate court. Psychiatrists say he 'didn’t appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions.'"

Crump praised the work of Assistant DA Krista Oswalt, who he said managed the case exceptionally.

It was not known where Anderson will serve his incarceration. Court records did not specify anything beyond the sentence that was handed down.

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