Whitwell, Tennessee is about an hour and a half drive from my home. It doesn't seem that far. Its mostly hills and farms and livestock. I had a friend who died in a motorcycle crash in the 80's who was from there. The whole crew, all of his friends, rode through the street in a big long bike convoy to the funeral home. That is my sole interaction with Whitwell. Just this past August, however, that tiny town was statewide news with the trial of the pawn shop murder of Jerry Ridge by 51-year-old Angela Kilgore.
The jury has convicted now 53-year-old Kilgore in the murder of a Whitwell pawn shop owner two years ago. Angela Kilgore was found guilty of first-degree murder, felony murder, especially aggravated robbery and aggravated arson and theft. Jurors deliberated for only about 45 minutes. She received an automatic life without parole sentence. She was sentenced in late October for her other lesser crimes.
Prosecutors claimed she was attempting to rob the pawn shop but ended up killing the owner and setting the place on fire. During the course of the case, investigators developed information that led to Angela Denise Kilgore as the individual responsible for Mr. Ridge’s death during a robbery at the pawn shop. The investigation further revealed she was additionally responsible for the subsequent fire at the business, set in an effort to destroy potential evidence in the case.