Update: Angel Bumpass’s was released November 3, 2022, after Chattanooga businessman Kenneth Adams posted her $100,000 bond. Originally, the prosecution had asked the judge to raise Bumpass’s bond from $300,000 to $600,000, while her legal team asked for her to be released on her own recognizance. She has a status hearing January 17, 2023.
At the age of 23, Angel Bumpass sits incarcerated, serving a 60-year-sentence for a murder that occurred when she was just 13-years-old. On her way out of the courtroom following her sentencing, Angel’s last words were, “I’ll never see my kids again.” Ironically, her 46-year-old male co-defendant who she does not know personally was found not guilty.
Since the airing of her case on A&E’s hit show Accused: Guilty or Innocent, Angel’s appeal has gained traction, with her family setting up a Change.org petition. The outrage stems over the fact that the prosecution, outside of two fingerprints on duct tape used to suffocate the victim, nothing linked Angel to the murder. None of her fingerprints were found on the home’s surfaces, while nine unidentified prints were. Moreover, with the jury rejecting to convict her male co-defendant, it seems the jury is saying either she could have bound and killed the male victim herself or she assisted and was covering for someone else.
To begin with, Angel Bumpass was 13 at the time of the murder. No one on the prosecution’s side knows what role, if any, she played in the murder. At worst, she could have been a child under the duress of an adult and, thereby, a kidnapping victim. She would be a victim, not an assailant. Also, the tape could have already had her fingerprints on it and been stolen from her garage.
It’s also worth mentioning that one of the lead detectives in Angel’s cases, Karl Fields, was fired for making advances toward a rape victim whose assault he was investigating. As an investigator, Fields was accused of everything from coaching witnesses to losing evidence. Fields was even charged with tampering with and fabricating evidence before, in an unrelated case. Though the charges were dropped, the charges show what type of corrupt cop he was. This is the man whose testimony and investigation helped jail a mother. This alone is call for a retrial and her to be released.
Angel Bumpass. Say her name. Write it down. Never forget it. Go to Change.org and sign her petition. She and her children need you now more than ever. Help us fight this constant oppressive system of racial injustice.
*Jermaine Reed, MFA is a college professor and writer from Chicago who writes fiction, local news stories and national news stories. Please join his email list to get updates on blog posts, writing advice and free books. Get his recently released Science Fiction novel A Glitch in Humanity by clicking here.
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