Teen charged in officer's death could be tried as adult

Jul 8, 2019

Credit MNPD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A teenager accused of killing a Nashville police officer in a fiery car crash could be tried as an adult.

The Tennessean reports , 17-year-old Jayona Brown is being held in juvenile detention while prosecutors seek a transfer hearing. They intend to argue that her charges are serious enough that the case should be moved to adult court, where the consequences of a conviction are more severe.

Officer John Anderson was killed early Thursday morning at around 3:05 a.m. as he was responding to assist another officer.

Brown sped through an intersection and her Ford Fusion hit Anderson's cruiser with enough force to push it into a nearby utility pole. The cruiser then caught fire.

Anderson was 28 years old and had been on the force for four years.

A passenger in the Fusion, 18-year-old Antona Esaw, suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Skyline Medical Center.

Police said that minutes before the crash, Brown had sped away from an officer who tried to pull her over after she did not dim her bright lights for oncoming traffic. Because the Fusion was not reported stolen, police said, the officer did not pursue.

Brown is charged with vehicular homicide, felony evading arrest, aggravated assault by recklessness, driving on a suspended license and juvenile curfew violation.

Police spokesman Don Aaron said Brown was known to police. Because she is a juvenile, her record is not available.

Department of Children's Services spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals declined to comment on Brown specifically, but she released a statement saying that "not all youth adjudicated delinquent or on probation are placed in the custody of DCS. ... Even if a child is on state probation, he or she may remain in the custody of a parent or caretaker while on probation."