RIPLEY – An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office has resulted in the arrest of two individuals from Ripley on charges ranging from First Degree Murder to Accessory After the Fact.
At the request of 25th District Attorney General Mark Davidson, Wednesday, Agents joined the investigation into a homicide in Ripley. Earlier in the day, while conducting a welfare check at a home in the 100 block of Parker Bower Road in Ripley, deputies with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office discovered a deceased woman inside of the home. The victim has been identified as Jo Ann Fincher (DOB: 4/30/61).
Agents and investigators were able to quickly develop information that identified Ronnie Cates (DOB: 9/4/68) and Wendy Blake (DOB: 6/17/68) as the individuals responsible. They were taken into custody at a home in the 100 block of Dry Hill Road West in Ripley. Cates is charged with First Degree Murder, Theft over $1,000, 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 were booked into the Lauderdale County Jail. Cates’ bond is $750,000. Blake’s bond is $400,000.