Woman Pleads Guilty in Death of Henderson Police Captain
JACKSON, Tenn.- There is closure in the almost three-year-old case of slain Henderson Police Captain Dennis Cagle, after one woman pleaded guilty in Federal Court early Tuesday morning. In December 2009, investigators said Captain Dennis Cagle was shot and killed during the robbery of the Save-A-Lot grocery store in Henderson. Investigators charged couple Rickey Lee Stewart and his wife Cheryl Freeman Steward with attempted robbery and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. Stewart who also faced additional counts of murder and having a gun as a convicted felon plead guilty earlier this year for his part in the crime. Stewart’s wife and accomplice, Cheryl Steward pleaded guilty in Federal court, Tuesday. Federal prosecutors charged Steward with purchasing the handgun that was used in the robbery, and assisting her husband as his getaway driver. Henderson residents said Steward’s involvement was just as criminal. Jonathan Graham who works worked in the Save-A-Lot grocery store at the time of the robbery said Steward’s involvement is just as criminal as her husband’s. “To me she is just as guilty as the one who pulled the trigger she was sitting out here driving the get away car,” said Graham. Federal prosecutors said if Steward’s plea agreement is accepted by the judge, a maximum 20 year sentence will be set in stone. By entering in a guilty plea, Steward waives all rights to an appeal or trail by a jury of her peers. Some residents said they are happy Steward has decided to take a plea agreement. “Think about how long it would have taken to have gone to court and all the counter measures that the other side would have taken and the appeals,” said Resident Richard Zook. “This is easier, this is quicker, this is surer because all it takes is one misplaced piece of evidence and they could be on the street again.” Federal prosecutors said Steward will not be eligible for early release or parole as with any federal sentencing. Residents said this plea change brings the closure they have been waiting for. “There is not a day that goes by where you don’t think about what happened and think about Dennis. He was a good guy and one heck of a cop,” said Graham. “It’s just like a dream come true that this case finally comes to an end and justice is served. I hope the judge will accept it and bring more closure to the family. ” Steward’s sentencing date is set for November 30.