Crime and Law Enforcement

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Sentencing has been set for a Tennessee man convicted of aggravated assault for severely beating a gay man and bragging about it online.

The Daily News Journal reports Brandon Wiley, of Lewisburg, is set to be sentenced Thursday. Wiley and the victim testified last week about the 2018 attack at a Murfreesboro bar.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A 60-year-old woman is accused of trying to smother her husband with a pillow as he lay in a hospital bed in Tennessee.

Citing arrest records, news outlets report Barbara Jones was arrested Sunday and charged with attempted criminal homicide. She's set to appear in court Wednesday.

Court documents a witness heard a scream from inside a room at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and entered to find Jones removing the pillow from her husband's face.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT/AP) -- Witnesses say Tennessee death row inmate Stephen West quoted scripture when asked for his final words.


West’s execution began at 7:15 p.m. Thursday night. A state spokesperson says he was pronounced dead at 7:27 p.m.


West was convicted in 1987 of the stabbing death of East Tennessee residents Wanda Romines and her teenaged daughter Sheila.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Data provided by the state Department of Health suggests Middle Tennessee isn't immune to the state's ongoing epedemic of drug overdose deaths.

Davidson, Cheatham, and Robertson counties all report per capita drug overdose death rates well above the state average of 2.6 deaths per 10,000 residents.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee won't stop Thursday's execution of an inmate who says his accomplice was the one who fatally stabbed a mother and daughter in 1986.

Lee said in a statement Tuesday he won't intervene after reviewing 56-year-old Stephen West's case.

West was convicted of the kidnapping and stabbing deaths of 51-year-old Wanda Romines and her 15-year-old daughter, Sheila Romines, and of raping the teen.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- West Tennessee Prison escapee Curtis Ray Watson will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon at the Lauderdale County Justice Center.

Watson is facing charges of first-degree murder, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated burglary and escape.


RIPLEY, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee official says an inmate who is a person of interest in the death of a corrections employee escaped the area on a tractor.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch said at a news conference Wednesday evening that the tractor used by 44-year-old Curtis Ray Watson was found about a mile (1.6 kilometers) away from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary. The facility is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) from Memphis.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Cyntoia Brown is free for the first time in her adult life. She walked out of the Tennessee Prison for Women before sunrise Wednesday morning.

Brown said she was a sex trafficking victim at the time she killed a man in 2004, when she was just 16.

Kim Kardashian West and other celebrities lobbied for her release, and then-Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted her clemency in January. The now-31-year-old Brown will remain on parole for 10 years.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Tennessee’s top law enforcement officer says expect the number of drug overdose deaths in the state to continue to rise.


Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch calls the scale of the state’s opioid epidemic “devastating.” He notes that more than 1700 Tennesseans died of drug overdoses in 2017 and he expects the final 2018 count to climb even higher.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said his administration is looking at several policy options to increase safety following two mass shootings over the weekend.

However, the Republican declined on Monday to say specifically which policy proposal he would advocate against the GOP-controlled Statehouse, which has been resistant to adopt gun control measures over the years.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A white police officer shown on video grabbing a black woman and throwing her against a vehicle during a traffic stop in Tennessee has resigned.

Nashville police said in a statement Tuesday that Officer Barrett Teague's resignation will be effective after he serves a 30-day suspension without pay for conduct unbecoming a member of the police department.

It says the confrontation happened July 3, and the department decommissioned him the following day after becoming aware of the video.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Beware porch pirate if you made purchases during Amazon’s annual Prime Day Sale this week.


FedEx, UPS and other shippers now offer a wide range of safe delivery options. Some allow your packages to be delivered to local stores later pickup. Others have centrally located delivery lockers.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A hearing has been set for a Tennessee teen charged in the death of a Nashville police officer.

The Tennessean reports 17-year-old Jayona Brown is set to appear in juvenile court next month. Brown is charged with offenses including vehicular homicide in the Independence Day death of Officer John Anderson.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Expect to see more Metro Officers patrolling the streets of the Entertainment District downtown on weekends.


The change comes in response to a reported jump in crime, including what the city describes as a 50 percent increase in thefts. 

In a press statement out Tuesday, Metro says seventeen additional officers will be patrolling the honky-tonk district Friday and Saturday nights. That includes a number of undercover officers working the bars.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Osborne)  -- Remember a few common sense tips and regulations to keep your family Fourth from going up in smoke.

Tennessee officials note that between 2014 and 2018 fireworks caused 419 unintended fires statewide, resulting in more than a million dollars in damages.

Bailey Scott with the State Fire Marshal’s Office strongly recommends you leave the fireworks displays to the professionals. But she says if you do buy and use fireworks, keep a few safety tips in mind.

NASHVILLE, Tenn (OSBORNE) -- The Nashville based Southern Baptist Convention has voted to change the way it handle cases of sexual abuse and racism among member churches.


The Baptist Press says that on Tuesday delegates to the SBC annual national meeting in Birmingham voted overwhelmingly to expel churches that fail to handle such incidents appropriately.


They also voted to repurpose a church credentialing committee to investigate churches that fail to abide by the new guidelines.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Osborne)  -- Some 180 Tennessee attorneys have signed an open letter calling on state officials to investigate controversial statements reportedly made by the Coffee County District Attorney.

Caught on video tape, the statements by DA Craig Northcutt have made national headlines. Multiple media outlets quote Northcutt saying he would refuse to prosecute cases of domestic violence between same sex partners.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  -- Mayor David Briley wants to reduce the criminal court fees and fines that can trap Nashville’s poorest residents in escalating debt and jail time.

Briley recently announced the formation of a committee tasked with studying how the city can reduce court fees and fines. He also wants to reduce the city’s dependence on court revenue to fund a portion of the city budget.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have struck a deal that would limit community oversight boards that investigate police misconduct but maintain limited subpoena power.

A House-Senate panel voted Monday for legislation that would allow subpoenas only if an oversight board receives its city council's approval. The bill still requires full House and Senate votes.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Republican state lawmakers are divided over a proposal to limit the authority of police oversight boards like the one approved last fall by Nashville voters.

Earlier this month, the Tennessee House passed a measure stripping such boards of subpoena power. During committee debate, Republican Majority Leader William Lamberth insisted giving such boards the ability to compel witness testimony would put police officers at risk.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will this week hear oral arguments in Tennessee’s lawsuit against federal immigration policy.

Two years ago this month state lawmakers filed suit challenging the fed’s right to resettle refugees in Tennessee without state consent. When the state’s Attorney General declined to file the suit, lawmakers found a faith-based Michigan law firm to represent them.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Several controversial bills are moving steadily through the Tennessee General Assembly.


On Tuesday Republican Rep. Micah Van Huss presented a bill to the House Health Committee that would ban all abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.


Amid gasps, jeers and applause Van Huss defended the measure during questioning by Democratic lawmakers, including Memphis Rep. Barbara Cooper. 


Cooper asked "Are you stating that even in the case of rape, (or) incest, that you are banning or prohibiting an abortion?” 


  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Doctors performing abortions on girls younger than 18 years old would be required to preserve a sample of the fetal tissue for law enforcement under a bill making its way through the Tennessee Statehouse.

Currently the threshold is 13.

The proposal is the latest abortion related legislation Republican state lawmakers have introduced following newly elected Gov. Bill Lee's promise to support any bill that would reduce the number of abortions throughout the state.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Nashville is ramping up efforts to fight gun crime in partnership with state and federal agencies.

Mayor David Briley kicked off Project Safe Nashville during a press event late last week.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  You may be surprised to learn that Nashville resident have a legal obligation to provide outdoor pets with extra care during winter cold snaps.

Daytime highs across Middle Tennessee will stay below freezing through Friday morning. Overnight lows will be in the twenties and teens.

Taking special care of your four legged friends on cold days isn’t just the right thing to do, but is also required by city ordinance.