Articles Posted in Crime Victims

A Nashville, Tennessee grand jury has issued a second-degree murder indictment against security guard Jeremy Holmes in the death of Adam Villegas. This unfortunate case began when Holmes got into an argument outside the Marathon Sports Bar in Nipper’s Corner. Holmes, who was working security in the parking lot at the time.

This case emphasis the drastic need for more stringent training requirements to become an armed security guard in Tennessee. Currently, Tennessee only requires an additional 8 hours of training to become an certified armed security guard. Once this limited training is completed the officer can be placed in the most dangerous of situations and given the duty to protect us. This is both unfair to the security guard and the public. To give someone the ability and to use deadly force with such limited instructions is asking for tragedy. My office has handled to many cases where unnecessary force was used by a security guard and the results where devastating.
We can only hope that some good can come from tragic cases like the one involving the death of Villegas. Hopefully, security companies will provide more training, be more selective on their hiring and our legislature will increase the minimum training requirements.

Willard Ross, a retired coach at Northwest High School, was fatally wounded by gunfire June 25 in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart on Ft. Campbell Boulevard in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Coach Ross was a beloved educator and the community is horrified and saddened by his tragic death. This senseless act of violence is even more shocking considering the circumstances. Coach Ross was an innocent bystander murdered at one of the nation’s largest and most trusted merchants. Millions of innocent people visit Wal-Mart stores all over the country without giving a second thought to their personal security. They may need to change their thinking in the wake of this tragedy.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this terrible crime is that it appears that Wal-Mart, an enormous and very successful corporation that gladly takes millions of dollars from its customers, apparently chose not to provide security in the parking lot after it has already taken their money. As a matter of fact, according to the paper the Wal-Mart on Ft. Campbell Boulevard in Clarksville terminated its contract with the Clarksville Police Department and has hired a private security firm. The community can only hope that this change doesn’t bring an increase in the incidents of crime at this store, where many of the city’s residents go to shop every day.

Today the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested the Jackson County Sheriff, two Deputies, and two former Correctional Officers. The officers have been accused of having inappropriate sexual conduct with inmates.

Throughout the years I have found myself both representing officers in Court and representing citizens who were mistreated by the government. I guess it is no big surprise that you learn fairly quickly that there are good and bad folks in any profession. I still believe that most people are good. I also believe that a majority of the police, sheriffs and other public officials are good. That they take these jobs not for personal glory or a modest paycheck but to make the world a better place. However, when an officer betrays the public trust and uses their power for selfish personal gain I believe their punishment should be swift and severe.

Each week it seems that I read about a person being shot or injured at their apartment. In addition to this, I have several cases where a person was victimized by a criminal and their apartment had done little or nothing to provide a safe complex. I think we all know that there are certain areas of town that are more dangerous than others. Unfortunately, in litigating inadequate security cases what I have come to realize is that some apartment complexes take extra precautions to protect their residents and some seem to focus more on profits.

If you are looking for an apartment in the Nashville, or any area, I would recommend that you check crime statistics in the area. Ask other residents if criminal activity is common in the complex. Don’t be afraid to ask the manager if they have security on site or security that patrols on a regular basis. How did they chose the security company?

Although we can never predict when a criminal may act we can take precautions to deter any criminal activity. I honestly believe that it is not too much to ask to have an apartment complex take a small portion of their profits to ensure their residents are safe. If they fail to do so, then the should expect to be responsible for any damages sustained.

This weekend a Tennessee Titan intentionly kicked an opposing player in the face. The player was ejected from the game and has been fined by the national football league. So is that enough? What would happen if you or I hit a co-employee at work?

The obvious answers are that we would probably be charged with a crime. I understand the dilemma of where a line is drawn. “Football is a violent sport” and “players hit each other all the time during the game.” However, kicking someone in the face has no place in football or any other business. We all live by the law being and you should not be exempt because you are wealthy or hold a high profile job.

The district attorney in Nashville has a duty to enforce our laws. We have a great District Attorney in Nashville. I have confidence in his judgment and realize not every case is black and white and victims do not always cooperate. However, I would suggest the district attorney consider issuing a statement declaring such actions will not be tolerated in Nashville. Further, if this is not a case for the criminal justice system it may very well be a case for the civil justice system.

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