News and Press Releases


October 4, 2012

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 1), using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence (Count
2), committing the first degree murder of Captain Dennis Cagle in the perpetration of the
attempted robbery through the use of a firearm (Count 3), and being a previously convicted felon
in possession of a firearm (Count 4).

United States District Judge J. Daniel Breen sentenced Stewart to 20 years to be served
concurrent for Count 1, 10 years to be served consecutive for Count 2, life in prison for Count 3,
and 10 years to be served concurrent for Count 4. He also ordered 4 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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