Originally created 06/25/02

Shooting suspect pleads guilty



The woman accused of shooting a sheriff's deputy during an escape attempt in April changed her not-guilty plea to guilty Monday morning in Columbia County Superior Court.

Tamika Chanlorda Bumpass did not appear Monday before Judge William M. Fleming in Appling. Instead, the guilty plea was entered by District Attorney Danny Craig. Mr. Craig said sentencing will take place in early July.

The plea change came less than a month after the 23-year-old woman pleaded not guilty to 10 charges resulting from the April 19 shooting and several charges stemming from her original April 16 arrest that include nine counts of forgery and 17 counts of identity fraud.

Mr. Craig said he couldn't comment on the circumstances surrounding the plea or say when he was informed of the plea change.

"A defendant can change his or her mind until sentencing is imposed," he said. "That's the law."

Chattanooga, Tenn., attorney Christine Mahn Sell, Ms. Bumpass' attorney of record, said she was not familiar enough with the case to comment on the plea. Lee Davis, a partner in a Chattanooga law firm that was hired to represent Ms. Bumpass in Georgia and Tennessee, is vacationing and didn't return messages left Monday on his cell phone.

A Hamilton County (Tenn.) criminal division courts employee said Ms. Bumpass has four pending charges there.

Columbia County Sheriff's Office investigators say that on April 19, Ms. Bumpass started fighting with Deputy Glenda Shelton while being transported from a hearing in Richmond County back to Columbia County's jail.

During the struggle, investigators say, Deputy Shelton's gun went off and she was wounded. Ms. Bumpass escaped and was captured 12 hours later.

Reach Louie Villalobos at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 109, or ccchron@augustachronicle.com.