Suspects charged with murder of West Tennessee woman

Crime Tracker

RIPLEY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Two suspects have been charged in the murder of a woman in Lauderdale County who was found dead Wednesday.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, 51-year-old Ronnie Cates and 52-year-old Wendy Blake are charged in the death of 59-year-old Jo Ann Fincher. Fincher was found dead in a home on the 100 block of Parker Bower Road in Ripley during a welfare check.

Cates and Blake were found at a home on Dry Hill Road West in Ripley. Cates is charged with first degree murder, theft over $1000, tampering with evidence, and possession of a prohibited weapon. Blake is charged with criminal responsibility of felony murder, criminal responsibility of theft, and accessory after the fact.

Both Cates and Blake were booked into Lauderdale County Jail on $750,000 and $400,000 respectively.

Details surrounding the death of Fincher were not immediately given. The arrests are part of a joint investigation by TBI and Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office.

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