Home Memphis Press Releases 2012 Ricky Lee Stewart Sentenced to Life Plus 10 Years for Murder of Deputy Dennis Cagle

Ricky Lee Stewart Sentenced to Life Plus 10 Years for Murder of Deputy Dennis Cagle

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 04, 2012
  • Western District of Tennessee (901) 544-4231

JACKSON, TN—Ricky Lee Stewart, 51, of Smyrna, Tennessee, was sentenced today to life plus 10 years in federal prison for charges stemming from the murder of Henderson, Tennessee Police Captain Dennis Cagle during an attempted robbery on December 10, 2009, announced United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton.

On October 5, 2011, Stewart pled guilty to a four-count indictment charging him with obstructing interstate commerce in attempting to rob the Henderson, Tennessee Save-A-Lot (count one), using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence (count two), committing the first-degree murder of Captain Dennis Cagle in the perpetration of the attempted robbery through the use of a firearm (count three), and being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm (count four).

United States District Judge J. Daniel Breen sentenced Stewart to 20 years, to be served concurrent for count one; 10 years to be served consecutive for count two; life in prison for count three; and 10 years to be served concurrent for count four. He also ordered four years of supervised release and a special assessment of $400. There is no parole in the federal system. Stewart’s wife, Cheryl Freeman Steward, age 52, of Henderson, Tennessee, pled guilty last month to charges arising from the same incident. Steward pled guilty to two counts of attempted robbery affecting commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951, and being a convicted felon that was prohibited from possessing a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6) and 924(a)(2) of the superseding indictment. Cheryl Steward will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge J. Daniel Breen on November 30, 2012, at 1:30 p.m.

“Today’s sentence of life plus 10 years, without the possibility of parole, brings justice to the family and friends of Captain Dennis Cagle, and hopefully provides them with a measure of relief,” said U.S. Attorney Stanton. “Any loss of life is tragic, but the fact that Mr. Stewart would senselessly and brazenly take the life of a law-enforcement official underscores the extreme danger he posed to the greater community.”

“No sentence, regardless of the severity, can ever minimize the profound sense of loss we feel as a department and a community,” said Henderson Police Chief Tommy Davis. “I am relieved to know that Ricky Lee Stewart will never see the light of day as a free man. Now that this case has been closed, we await the sentencing of his wife for her role in the crime. Hopefully then, Captain Cagle’s family and everyone who knew him, can begin to heal.”

The case was investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Henderson Police Department; and the Chester County Sheriff’s Office. District Attorney General Jerry Woodall and Assistant District Attorney Jody Pickens served as special counsel in this case. Assistant United States Attorney Victor L. Ivy prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

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