Randall Reed sentenced to life, Jane Stokes' granddaughter says - WSMV Channel 4

Randall Reed sentenced to life, Jane Stokes' granddaughter says justice is served

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The man convicted of murdering an East Ridge woman will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Randall Reed was found guilty in April for the 2011 murder of 70-year-old Jane Stokes.

"Just looking at somebody and knowing that, you know, you are a monster. You did that to my grandmother. How could anybody do that to your grandmother? Much less anybody else," says Rachel Harpole, Jane Stokes' granddaughter.

Harpole says justice has been served.

"I'm just happy he'll be spending the rest of his life in prison and we won't have to worry about it any more. It doesn't make it easier, but to know that justice has been served, does," says Harpole.

In the months leading up to the murder, Randall Reed was hired by Stokes to build a fence at her home and knew she lived alone. June 15, 2011, Reed zip-tied Stokes' hands behind her back and wrapped her head in cellophane. She suffocated to death. His motive was Stokes' debit card. Hours after her death, ATM surveillance caught Reed using her card. He later turned himself in.

"That's a very scary thing for me to think about. Just knowing that that was a possibility, that I could have been there," says Harpole.

A student at UTC, Harpole was set to move in with her grandmother just days before the murder took place.

"I'll be sitting there and I think, 'I was about to move in with her.' I mean, all my stuff was at her house and it was there when he killed her."

She says it is still hard to believe her grandmother is gone.

"I know it's hard for me being still here in Chattanooga and every time I pass that Belvoir exit, knowing that I could easily go see her, but not anymore, because that's been robbed from me," says Harpole.

She says all she can hold on to now are the happy memories she has of her kind grandmother, who she says "told it like it was."

"She was a great grandmother. She always took care of me. She always wanted to have me and my roommates over and cook dinner for us and was so excited for me to live with her, just always took care of me. But you know, didn't sugar coat  anything," she says with a laugh.

Reed has filed a motion to appeal his conviction. Stokes would have been 73 on October 30th. Her family members say since her death, they still have a birthday party for Jane, to honor her memory.

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