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Trial date set for Whitwell woman charged with Valley Pawn murder and fire

A trial date has been set for the woman charged in connection with the murder of  72-year-old Jerry Ridge, owner of Valley Pawn Brokers in Whitwell almost two years after the incident.

Angela Denise Kilgore (Photo: Contributed Marion Co. Sheriff’s Dept.)

51-year-old Angela Denise Kilgore of Whitwell was charged in 2016 on grand jury indictments with first-degree murder, felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony aggravated arson, theft and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

According to the District Attorney’s office, Kilgore is now set to appear before a Marion County jury for trial on August 27, 2018.

Judges Thomas W. Graham, J. Curtis Smith, and Justin C. Angel have each recused themselves from the case citing conflicts. The Tennessee Supreme Court has appointed Rutherford County Circuit Court Judge Don Ash to preside over the case.

Kilgore is represented by Assistant Public Defender, Norm Lipton. Assistant District Attorney, Steve Strain, will lead the prosecution in the trial.

According to reports from the TBI, Kilgore allegedly killed Ridge during a robbery at the pawn shop he owned and operated in Whitwell. It’s then alleged that she set fire to the business “in an effort to destroy potential evidence in the case.”

Ridge’s body was found on May 17, 2016, after firefighters extinguished the fire. An autopsy after the discovery showed Ridge had been shot and stabbed before the building was set ablaze.

Kilgore, who had been previously convicted of other federal charges including an attempted bank robbery, aggravated robbery, and gun charges and other various charges.

We’ll continue to follow this story and bring you the latest on the trial in August.


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