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Man Indicted in 25 Year-Old Cold Case

jewell moses bess.jpg
Rutherford County Sheriff's Office
Jewell Moses Bass indicted for first-degree murder

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — A Tennessee prison inmate now stands indicted for the murder of his wife 25 years ago.

Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold announced Monday that his Cold Case Unit had developed new evidence in the death of Deborah Sherfiled Bess.  

The evidence was presented to the Rutherford County Grand Jury, resulting in a first-degree murder indictment against 63-year-old Moses Bess. It charges Bess with fatally shooting his then 38-year-old wife, Deborah, at the couple's home in Aug., 1986.

Moses Bess is completing a 15-year prison term on a child rape conviction. He’s scheduled for release in September 2013.  Bess will appear in Circuit Court April 13 to face the new charge of first degree murder.

Lt. Bill Sharp is one of the investigating officers.  He says working cold cases can be taxing, but there are rewards.

"I think it's just bringing some satisfaction to the family, knowing that there are some family members who are deceased. They mean somthing. The Sheriff's Department and Dan and I are wanting to bring some type of justice for the family."

Sharp says it’s also rewarding to develop a relationship, sometimes over decades, with the family of the victim.