Corder and Burnett Patton Plea

December 4, 2017
(Nashville, TN)—The two men charged in a 2015 home invasion in Crieve Hall will spend the next 15 years in prison. Robert Corder and Oscar Burnett-Patton pled guilty Friday to Especially Aggravated Kidnapping for holding a Nashville family at gunpoint inside their Trousdale Drive home. Corder and Burnett-Patton admitted robbing the family after forcing them to drive to several ATMs to withdraw money.

Assistant District Attorney Paul DeWitt said the pair entered the family’s home as the homeowner returned from grocery shopping. They forced the woman, along with her daughter, granddaughter, and her granddaughter’s boyfriend to drive to several banks to withdraw money. Police tracked down the suspects because the daughter was able to memorize the suspect’s license tag number, even as she was held at gunpoint.
“We appreciate the victim’s courage, determination and patience throughout this process,” ADA DeWitt said. “We hope this guilty plea gives the family the justice they deserved.”

Corder and Burnett Patton plea

Luis Alvarez-Avila Sentenced

November 20, 2017

(Nashville, TN)-A Nashville man convicted of sexually abusing a young girl will spend the rest of his life in prison. Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins today sentenced Luis Alvarez-Avila to 90-years in prison following his conviction on sexual battery charges. Alvarez-Avila, 63, was sentenced to 10 years for each of the nine counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery of a Victim Under 13.
Assistant District Attorney Tammy Meade said the abuse began when the female victim was just five-years-old and continued until she was 10. “What he did changed this little girl’s life forever but not once did he apologize,” Meade said. “Alvarez-Avila wanted sympathy for himself but fortunately, the court saw otherwise.”
Alvarez-Avila was a relative of the victim. He pled guilty to the charges in October in order to avoid going to trial. He was ordered to serve his sentence in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction.

Alvarez-Avila sentence

Donald Harris Sentence

October 5, 2017
(Nashville, TN)- A Nashville man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the brutal murder of his girlfriend’s three-year-old son. Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Blackburn sentenced Donald Lee Harris, 35, to life plus 75 years in prison on Wednesday. Harris was found guilty in June of murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect. The three-year-old victim had been severely beaten with belts, treated with exceptional cruelty, and was especially vulnerable due to his physical and mental disabilities.

Assistant DA Pam Anderson said even while the child was dying, he was not taken to the hospital. She called Harris a dangerous offender who had no regard for human life. “This was not a one-time isolated event, this was ongoing, sustained torture. There is no more dangerous offender than one that would cause harm to a child, Anderson said.”

The boy’s mother, Shantonio Hunter, pled guilty in September to second degree murder and was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Click here for the official release…

Javon Spivey guilty verdict

September 18, 2017

(Nashville, TN)- A Davidson County jury returned guilty verdicts Thursday afternoon against a man charged in a deadly 2014 home invasion in Antioch. After four days of testimony and less than an hour of deliberations, jurors convicted Javon Jolarry Spivey, 28, on the following six felony counts:
First Degree Premeditated Murder
First Degree Felony Murder
Attempted First Degree Premeditated Murder
Especially Aggravated Burglary
Employing a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony

Spivey shot and killed Charles Peterson IV after breaking into the home Peterson shared with his mother, Anne. Mrs. Peterson was also shot by Spivey as she ran to a neighbor’s house for help. Assistant District Attorney Byron Pugh described the case as a nightmarish series of crimes committed by a man who had no regard for human life.
Mrs. Peterson took the stand during the trial and told jurors how Spivey chased her down as she ran for her life, stomped on her back when she fell to the ground, and shot her multiple times. “Mrs. Peterson remained undeterred in her quest for justice for herself and her son. The jury’s decision to find this defendant guilty of these horrific crimes will allow Mrs. Peterson to begin the process of healing,” said ADA Pugh.

Jurors also found Spivey guilty of robbing a man at a Murfreesboro Road ATM one hour after fleeing the Peterson home. He will be sentenced by Judge Cheryl Blackburn on November 1.

Ledbetter Guilty Verdict

June 29, 2017
(Nashville, TN)—It was a case both the prosecution and the defense admitted was difficult for jurors to hear. After listening to three days of testimony in the child rape case against Jeremy Ledbetter, a Davidson County jury took less than an hour to find the Nashville man guilty on all counts. Prosecutors described the case, which included testimony about the sexual abuse of children and animals, one of the most disturbing and appalling cases they had seen. The young victim testified that the rape and abuse by Ledbetter occurred from the time he was 10 until 12-years-old.
 Ledbetter, 29, was convicted on the following charges:
•        Rape of a Child–2 counts
•        Aggravated Sexual Battery/Victim Under 13-two counts
•        Induce Sexual Activity by a Minor-two counts
•        Display Sexual Acts to a Minor Under 13-one count
Assistant District Attorney Chad Butler said the guilty verdict gave the victim the justice he deserved and helped to give back a piece of his childhood. “All victims of child sexual abuse who testify in front of their abusers are brave to do so. The young victim in this case was particularly courageous for standing up and testifying about the type of humiliating abuse he suffered at the hands of Jeremy Ledbetter,” Butler said.
Ledbetter faces up to 134 years in prison when he is sentenced on August 18.

Child rapist guilty plea


May 04, 2017

(Nashville, TN)— Following a guilty plea this afternoon in the child rape case involving a three-month-old baby, Assistant District Attorney Chad Butler said, “There are cases that come across your desk that will haunt you forever, this is one of those cases.”

Defendant Michael Delk, 39, plead guilty in Division VI Criminal Court today to charges of Rape of a Child and Especially Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. According to General Butler, Delk was arrested at a Murfreesboro Road hotel in 2015 after his wife reported to police that she saw cell phone images of Delk raping the three-month-old. Delk was sentenced to serve 100% of a 35-year prison sentence.

“The only blessing in this case is that this baby is happy and healthy, and the person who committed this horribly despicable act is exactly where he belongs, where he can’t hurt another child,” Butler said.



Guilty Plea in Rape Case


May 02, 2017

(Nashville, TN)—It was among the most egregious set of facts and circumstances the court had heard. A man charged with raping an Antioch woman at gunpoint after sneaking into her garage, will spend the next 30 years in prison. Anthony Edmontson, 33, plead guilty to two counts of Aggravated Rape after DNA evidence linked him to the brutal 2012 attack.

Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman said the victim had just pulled into her garage when she was confronted by Edmontson who raped her repeatedly, forced her into the trunk of her car, and threatened to kill her and her children if she called police.  “At one point, Edmontson had the gun at the back of the victim’s head when she heard a ‘click’ sound. At the time, the victim thought it was the sound of the safety being released, but she later learned that the ‘click’ was the sound of the gun mis-firing,” Norman said. The case had originally been set for trial on May 8. Edmontson, who was on parole for a Kentucky robbery, entered a guilty plea to two counts of Aggravated Rape and will have to serve 100% of the 30 year sentence, consecutive to his Kentucky parole.


Aggravated Arson Sentence


March 27, 2017

(Nashville, TN)—The man convicted of aggravated arson in connection with a fire at a Nashville hotel will have to spend the next three decades in prison. Judge Monte Watkins sentenced Antoine Clark to 30 years in prison on Friday for setting fire to the Harding Inn. Two people were trapped on a fourth floor balcony when the fire spread. They were able to escape thanks to the heroic efforts of several Nashville firefighters.

Deputy District Attorney Roger Moore said but for the actions of the firefighters, this could have been a murder case. “It’s bad enough that they risk their lives fighting accidental fires but when a fire is intentionally set the perpetrator deserves to spend a significant amount of time in prison.” Clark, 31, will have to serve 100% of his 30-year prison sentence.

“Thank you to the jury who heard this case and to the men and women of the Nashville Fire Department who risk their lives daily for the citizens of this community,” Moore said.

Guilty plea in Luis Diaz murder


March 3, 2017

(Nashville, TN) One of three men charged in the 2015 murder of Luis Diaz, 23, pled guilty Thursday and will spend the next four decades in prison. James Jaylen Simmons was set to stand trial later this month for the robbery and shooting death of Diaz. Simmons pled guilty to Second Degree Murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison at 100%. A relative reported Diaz missing on July 8, 2015 when he failed to return home from his job at a Murfreesboro Road Sonic restaurant. The victim’s vehicle was located in Hopkinsville, Kentucky six days after his disappearance. Detectives discovered that Simmons shot Diaz inside the vehicle while on Anderson Road in South Nashville and later dumped his body on a farm in Rockvale, Tennessee. Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman read the following victim impact statement from Luis Diaz’s family:

“Luis was a very friendly, happy, social person. He would always find time to help those that needed help.  He started working at a very young age to help out with expenses at home.  Everything that he earned he would give to his mother. Like all young kids, he had great dreams which he now will never be able to accomplish because his life was taken. His mother misses him very much. She suffers from his death and has not been able to move on with her life, she misses her “little Luis” every day. His mother taught him to forgive those who had wronged him and to help those that need help the most. Luis’s mother has forgiven those who killed him, her youngest son, and wishes them blessings because she is not the ultimate judge, life will ensure that they are judged and held accountable. Luis’ mother feels sorry for the families of those who killed him, because they too are suffering like her. Today as a representative of Luis’ mother and family, and as his uncle, we forgive those who killed Luis, because hatred begets hatred. We rather continue our lives with a healing heart, attempting happiness and most of all with a clean conscience.”

Co-defendant Joshua Smith, who worked with Diaz at the Sonic restaurant, is scheduled to stand trial on October 16. A third co-defendant, Xavier Young, is also charged with First Degree Murder but has not yet been scheduled for trial.

DA-TBI Memorandum of Understanding for Police Involved Shootings


February 16, 2017

(Nashville, TN) District Attorney Glenn Funk today instituted a policy to request the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to investigate all Nashville cases where officer related use of force results in death. General Funk, along with TBI Director Mark Gwyn, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the DA’s Office and the TBI, effective immediately, which calls for the TBI to investigate all officer-involved use of force deaths. Other officer-involved shootings will be reviewed on a case by case basis and may be referred to the TBI.

In conjunction with today’s announcement, General Funk submitted paperwork for the TBI to take over the investigation into the incident involving Officer Lippert and Jocques Clemmons on February 10, 2017. General Funk emphasized his confidence that the police department investigation to date has been handled expertly and appropriately.

“For Nashville to remain safe, law enforcement must maintain public trust from all segments of the community,” General Funk said. “Historically, the Metro Nashville Police Department has investigated their own officer involved shootings. Our police department is well trained and professional. Metro Nashville Police Department investigators have great integrity. The investigations performed by the Metro Nashville Police Department are expedient and transparent. However, best practices from around the country require that these investigations must also be independent. Only independent investigations foster the community confidence required for public safety.”

“Certainly, we face some challenges, as we now begin our work six days after this incident,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “Due diligence, however, requires us to start at the beginning in this-and every-investigation. Still, we remain confident in our ability to investigate this case with the integrity, openness, and professionalism it demands.”

The 2015 report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommended mandatory external and independent criminal investigations in cases where police use of force results in death.