Hixson woman facing first degree murder charge in 2011 case

Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 3/31 5:20 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - Police arrested a woman in connection to a 2011 murder case.

Jessica Sterchi, 30, of Hixson is facing one count of first degree murder, one count of aggravated robbery and one count of tampering with evidence.

Sterchi was arrested Saturday after police received information from a witness who reportedly had conversations with Sterchi about the murder of Zachary Higdon.

The case started on October 4, 2011 when police were called to the 900 block of Airport Road(Whispering Pines Trailer Park) to investigate the discovery of a dead body inside a trailer home.

At the time, investigators believed Higdon was robbed then shot to death.

Last Wednesday, investigators talked with a witness who said he had a conversation with Sterchi about what happened. According to a police affidavit, Sterchi told the man how the robbery was set up and executed. Sterchi also reportedly told the unidentified man that she shot and killed Higdon.

On Saturday, police questioned Sterchi and eventually took her into custody.

Sterchi reportedly told police that she along with her boyfriend and his brother attempted to purchase cocaine from Higdon but it turned into a robbery that left Higdon dead after he tried to fight back. Sterchi admitted killing him.

According to the affidavit, Sterchi and two partners left the scene only to return later and steal items from inside the home. They even went as far as to clean the home of any possible evidence linking them to the crime.

Sterchi reportedly told police that the murder weapon was thrown in the river and the stolen items were sold to a pawn shop.
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