A family gets some closure Thursday after the suspect accused of murdering their loved one is arrested and jailed.
Wendell Lamont Mitchell, 41, is in the Hamilton County Jail without bond accused of stabbing and killing 23-year-old Jeffery Jackson on the night of July 27.
Even though Mitchell was arrested Wednesday, the victim's family didn't even know about it until NewsChannel9's Briona Arradondo called them the next day. They said they are thankful to know the suspected killer is in custody. It's been emotional two and a half weeks for the victim's family with nearly no answers.
"I'm overwhelmed still about my brother being gone," said Jasmine Jackson, the victim's older sister. "I believe my brother is in a better place. He was always doing things to help other people."
Helping another in need is what the police report said Jeffery did the night he was killed. Witnesses said Mitchell, as known as "Dooney," was choking an elderly man outside of 2525 Sixth Avenue Court in Chattanooga. That's when witnesses said Jeffery stepped in and punched Mitchell.
"He could have walked away and not even went to help but he stood his ground, and he did something about that," said Jackson.
It led to a fight, and Jackson was found by the sidewalk with a stab wound in his chest, police said. He later died at Erlanger hospital.
"It's just going to take some time to realize what made a man take another young man's life," said Jackson's sister.
It wasn't the first time Mitchell's been violent. His 8-page arrest record dates back to the early 1990s, with a slew of charges from escaping jail, aggravated assault to most recently first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Police tracked down the suspect to 1901 Rawlings Street where he was found hiding behind a bathroom door.
"No, it's not going to bring my son back, but I hope that justice is served," said Jeffery Garner, the victim's father.
Mitchell was brought in for questioning as a person of interest the day the victim was killed, and police noticed Mitchell had a cut and blood on his face. He was then released. Police said they got the warrants signed for his arrest on August 8, and they continued to search for him until they discovered him on Wednesday, August 13.
His first appearance in court is Tuesday, August 19, at 8:30By Briona Arradondo
a.m. before Judge Sell. He is charged with first-degree murder and unlawful
possession of a weapon.