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Woman Sentenced In Henderson Police Captain's Murder

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn.- A woman charged in an attempted robbery that led to the death of a Henderson Police officer was sentenced, Friday.

United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, Edward L. Stanton spoke in Friday afternoon's news conference in the case of Cheryl Freeman Steward, 52. Steward was sentenced to 240 months in Federal prison in relation the murder of Henderson Police Captain Dennis Cagle.

"No amount of years could ever pay the price for the life that was taken but this was something the family and prosecutors all agreed was something in the best interest of moving forward," said Stanton.

On December 10, 2009, investigators said Steward attempted to rob the Save-A -Lot grocery store in Henderson, with her husband Ricky Lee Stewart. Police said Stewart fatally shot Captain Cagle during the attempted robbery. Ricky Stewart was sentenced to life plus 10 years in federal prison October 4.

"There has been a lot of long days, hard days. Its a long healing process," said Police Chief Tommy Davis of the Henderson Police Department.

Steward, who is accused of buying the handgun for her husband, a convicted felon and driving the get-a-away car plead guilty to two counts of attempted robbery affecting commerce, and purchasing a firearm for a convicted felon in September of this year.

Cagle's widow, Judy Cagle prepared a written victim statement that was read aloud to Steward in the courtroom during her sentencing. Family members said the sentencing will not bring their family closure, because it is rather just another step in their healing process.

A portion of the statement reads : "These delays increase our suffering and pain, and extend our feelings of loss and depression. We want the ability to move on, rebuild our lives and learn to cope with our loss."

After the victim's statement, officials said Steward apologized to the Cagle family for her role in the attempted robbery as well as the delaying of her trial process.

"Hopefully this will help begin the healing process," said Stanton.

Chief Davis said it is the person who was lost that night that will forever live in their hearts and change the city of Henderson.

"I used to call him, he was my country officer, of course. We were all 'county' in Chester County, but he was just a happy, go-lucky kinda guy that would help anybody," said Davis.

In addition to the 20 years in prison, the judge also ordered that Steward serve two years of supervised release at the end of her term. There Is no possibility of parole in the federal prison system.

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