The new A&E series Accused: Guilty or Innocent? returned with its fourth episode “Cold Case Killer or Innocent Teenage Girl?” on May 12. The show has already explored some complex cases in previous episodes, showing viewers the perspective of the defendants after they are accused of a crime, including a case debating whether a mother attempted to kill her son or was trying to protect him and a man charged with murder who pleaded self-defense.
This episode followed Angel Bumpass as she was charged with felony murder for a cold case from 10 years earlier, when she would have been 13 years old. Police said one of the fingerprints on the sticky side of the duct tape used to bind and suffocate the victim was matched to Bumpass but the young woman argued that she was never there.
Where is Angel Bumpass today?
Bumpass Was Sentenced to Life in Prison & Isn’t Eligible for Release Until 2079
On October 3, 2019, the jury found Bumpass guilty of the 2009 murder, which occurred when she was 13 years old. She was found guilty of first-degree felony murder and guilty of attempting to commit especially aggravated robbery after a jury deliberation that lasted just over four-and-a-half hours, The Chattanoogan reported.
On November 21, 2019, she was sentenced to life in prison for the murder count and eight years for the aggravated robbery count. Tennessee court records show that Bumpass isn’t eligible for release until February 13, 2079, 60 years after she was found guilty.
The 26-year-old is currently serving her sentence at the Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center, formerly known as the Tennessee Prison of Women, located in Nashville. According to public records with the Hamilton County Criminal Court, Bumpass will have a court hearing for her motion to appeal on August 13, 2021. Bumpass’ appeal will be handled by a different legal team than her original trial, Heavy has learned.
A Petition Is Circulating to Attempt to Overturn the Life Sentence & Grant Her a Retrial
A petition is circulating on Change.org to demand a retrial in Angel Bumpass’ case. The petition states that in 2009, Bumpass was a star pupil in eighth grade. It adds that at the time she was served with a warrant for the murder, over nine years later, Bumpass was “a 23-year-old mother of two, in her second year of school enrolled at Jefferson Community and Technical College.” She was set to enter a nursing program that summer.
The guilty verdict was unexpected for both her legal team and her supporters. Bumpass’ supporters have expressed their frustrations and disappointment with Bumpass’ defense during her trial, saying her lawyers “failed to present any type of mitigating circumstances, character witnesses to construct a picture as to who Angel was at that point in her life. To show that she was not culpable of anything of that [nature].”
A Justice for Angel Bumpass website seeks both support for a retrial motion and financial support for her family, who are said to be overwhelmed by legal fees.