Tennessee

The following vignettes describe the circumstances for killings not ruled self-defense by private individuals with permits to carry concealed handguns. The incidents below all occurred in Tennessee. The descriptions include the current, known status of any charges filed against the concealed carry killer as reported by news sources as well as noting instances where the perpetrator committed suicide.

The Violence Policy Center welcomes any new information regarding the status of any case (with verifiable source(s)). Use this link to contact the VPC: http://www.vpc.org/contact.htm.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Bobby Atkinson  UNINTENTIONAL

Date: September 11, 2017
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On September 11, 2017, concealed handgun permit holder Bobby Atkinson, 70, unintentionally shot himself at Rudy’s Diner in Clarksville, Tennessee. At just before 9 AM Atkinson entered Rudy’s Diner and started to sit down. As he sat, he dropped a cloth bag on the floor. A witness reported hearing a pop “like a firecracker going off.” Atkinson said he’d been shot and requested an ambulance. He was taken by helicopter to a Nashville hospital in critical condition, where he died on September 16. According to investigators, there was a Chiappa .22 revolver in the cloth bag in a holster with the hammer forward. When the bag was dropped the hammer of the revolver struck the floor, causing it to discharge.

Source: “Man dies from injuries after accidental shooting at Rudy’s Diner in Clarksville,” theleafchronicle.com, September 28, 2017.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Jason Nasca  SUICIDE

Date: December 7, 2016
People Killed: 2 (including shooter)


Circumstances:
On December 7, 2016, concealed handgun permit holder Jason Nasca, 41, shot and killed Nicholas Strange, 23, before turning the gun on himself in the parking lot of a Weigel’s convenience store in Knoxville. According to the sheriff’s office, the shooting occurred after a verbal altercation between the two men, who did not know each other.

Source: “Shooting leaves two dead in Knox County,” Local 8 Now, December 8, 2016.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Ricky Swafford  SUICIDE

Date: September 23, 2016
People Killed: 3 (including shooter)


Circumstances:
On September 23, 2016, concealed handgun permit holder Ricky Swafford, 45, shot and killed James Zotter, 44, and Sandra Cooley, 68, before turning the gun on himself. On the morning of the shooting, Swafford was meeting with his supervisors at the Thomas & Betts Corporation plant where he worked, when he reportedly became upset and left the building. Swafford returned a short time later and fatally shot Zotter and Cooley. Swafford was later found dead in a bathroom at the factory from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Swafford had worked at the factory for 15 years. In 2013, Tennessee enacted a law allowing workers with a concealed handgun permit to store firearms in vehicles parked at work regardless of employers’ weapons policies.

Source: “The Latest: Suspect in factory shooting had gun carry permit,” Associated Press, September 23, 2016.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: William Clinton Robbins  PENDING

Date: December 31, 2015
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On December 31, 2015, concealed handgun permit holder William Clinton Robbins, 44, allegedly shot and killed Nickie Benjamin Brumitte, 20.  Early that morning, Brumitte and a group of friends arrived at Robbins’ house to retrieve a Dodge Ram pickup truck that was owned by Robbins’ niece and was allegedly part of a contentious divorce dispute (his niece’s husband, Josh Turner, was one of the men accompanying Brumitte). As Brumitte attempted to flee in the vehicle, Robbins emerged from his house and allegedly began firing at the truck, emptying 17 rounds from his Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol and striking Brumitte in the head.  Robbins told investigators that he was attempting to shoot the engine block of the pickup, but a special agent from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation testified that the location and trajectory of the bullets that struck the vehicle did not support his claim.  He testified that three bullets entered the windshield of the vehicle, two struck at or near its passenger side door, and single bullets hit the bumper, tire, and grill.  Robbins was charged with criminal homicide.

Source: “Details Emerge in Robbins Shooting,” ihoneida.com, January 27, 2016.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Dewey “Butch” C. Abbott III  CONVICTED

Date: July 22, 2015
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On July 22, 2015, concealed handgun permit holder Dewey “Butch” C. Abbott III, 60, shot and killed Jesse Sliepenbeek, 40, at Kings Crossing Apartments. Abbott, Sliepenbeek, and witness Lisa McClean had been drinking and eating together on the night of the shooting. After dinner, according to Abbott, Sliepenbeek assaulted McClean before Abbott asked the other man to leave the apartment. A few hours later, Sliepenbeek returned to the apartment to look for his wallet, which he had left there. According to Abbott, Sliepenbeek entered the apartment “ranting and raving.” In the course of searching for his wallet he eventually came out of a bedroom with blankets slung over his shoulder, lowered his shoulder at Abbott, said “I ain’t scared,” and lunged
at the older man. Abbott shot Sliepenbeek three times, including once in the back. Abbott was convicted of second-degree murder and faces 15 to 20 years in jail with no parole.

Source: “Victim’s family ‘pleased’ with verdict,” Daily News Journal, December 9, 2016; “Defendant takes stand, testifies about shooting victim,” Daily News Journal, December 7, 2016.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Roy Michael Ford  PENDING

Date: May 30, 2015
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On May 30, 2015, concealed handgun permit holder Roy Michael Ford, 59, allegedly shot and killed Scotty Brogan following an altercation along the shoulder of Highway 63 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. According to the Claiborne Sheriff’s Department, Ford fatally shot Brogan with a Charter Arms 38 caliber handgun. Brogan then attempted to flee from Ford but collapsed face down in a ditch near the rear of his own vehicle. On June 3, while under care at the Claiborne County Medical Center, Ford allegedly assaulted a duty nurse and two Sheriff’s officers. Ford was charged with second degree murder in the shooting of Scotty Brogan and was also charged with attempted escape, aggravated assault, vandalism, and disorderly conduct as a result of the altercation at the medical center.

Source: “Ford indicted for second degree murder,” claiborneprogress.net, September 3, 2015.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Michael Little  SHOT AND KILLED DURING INCIDENT

Date: August 15, 2014
People Killed: 2 (including shooter)


Circumstances:
On August 15, 2014, concealed handgun permit holder Michael Little, 21, shot and wounded his ex-girlfriend Ashley Womack, 18, and Womack’s mother Rhonda, and shot and killed family friend Travis Wegener, before Ashley’s older brother Joshua shot and killed Little. According to news reports, Little, a Tennessee police cadet, went to Ashley’s home to speak with her two weeks after they had split up. As he walked toward his car in the driveway, Little pulled out a 45 caliber handgun and shot Rhonda Womack and Travis Wegener, before going to the back of the house and shooting Ashley. Ashley’s brother Joshua then retrieved a rifle and shot and killed Little.

Source: “Tennessee police cadet shoots 3 people, killing, 1, before ex-girlfriend’s brother guns him down: cops,” New York Daily News, August 18, 2014; “Knoxville police cadet in fatal shooting had a handgun carry permit,” Knoxville News Sentinel, August 18, 2014.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: James “Tony” McKenzie  UNINTENTIONAL

Date: June 4, 2014
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On June 4, 2014, concealed handgun permit holder James “Tony” McKenzie, 48, unintentionally shot and killed himself while he was driving his car. Police say the gun went off and shot him in the upper leg. According to news reports, McKenzie’s family said he “always kept a gun on him.”

Source: “James ‘Tony’ McKenzie,” Cleveland Daily Banner, June 6, 2014; “Man accidentally shoots and kills himself while driving in Meigs County,” Chattanooga Times Free Press, June 5, 2014.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Ryan Frederick  UNINTENTIONAL

Date: December 15, 2013
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On December 15, 2013, concealed handgun permit holder Ryan Frederick, 24, unintentionally shot and killed 19-year-old James Tyler Wisdom while showing off his new handgun. Frederick was in his bedroom showing his handgun to a friend when it discharged, with the bullet traveling through the floor boards and striking Wisdom who was in the kitchen of the house. Frederick told a local TV station, “It was an accident, but it shouldn’t have happened and I’m going to miss him.” Frederick was not charged in the shooting.

Source: “Tennessee teen fatally shot after friend’s gun allegedly discharges through floor,” New York Daily News, December 16, 2013.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Chris Ferrell  CONVICTED

Date: November 23, 2013
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On November 23, 2013, concealed handgun permit holder Chris Ferrell allegedly shot and killed Wayne Mills, 44, in the bar that Ferrell owned, the Pit and Barrel. Mills was a singer and leader of the outlaw-country Wayne Mills Band. According to news reports, an altercation began about 5:00 AM after Mills began smoking in a non-smoking area of the bar. The two began to argue as the other patrons left the bar. Gunshots were then heard and the police were called. Upon arrival, they found Mills with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. The two men had been friends and had returned to the bar after attending a George Jones Tribute earlier. Ferrell’s bar had been scheduled to be on the Spike TV show Bar Rescue the next day. Ferrell was charged with second degree murder.

UPDATE: On March 6, 2015, Chris Ferrell was found guilty of second degree murder in the death of Wayne Mills. On April 24, 2015, Ferrell was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Source: “Man convicted of Wayne Mills’ murder sentenced to 20 years,” wkrn.com, April 24, 2015; “Chris Ferrell found guilty in musician Wayne Mills’ death,” Nashville Tennessean, March 6, 2015; “Chris Ferrell Arrested on 2nd Degree Murder in Wayne Mills Case,” www.savingcountrymusic.com, December 6, 2013; “Singer Wayne Mills Shot Dead in Nashville Bar,” www.tasteofcountry.com, November 25, 2013.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Terry York  UNINTENTIONAL

Date: August 18, 2013
People Killed: 2


Circumstances:
On August 18, 2013, concealed handgun permit holder Terry York, 48, and his son Luke, 12, were killed in a house fire that reportedly started following the accidental discharge of York’s AR-15 assault rifle. According to witnesses, York was in the back room of his house showing a friend the AR-15 when it accidentally discharged. The gunfire reportedly ignited a small fire inside the house. According to deputies, York’s friend left the room where the fire was burning, but York’s son Luke ran in to help put out the blaze. Investigators believe the fire grew out of control within minutes, leading to an explosion. According to deputies, York’s wife also suffered second degree burns to her arms after trying to enter the room. Firefighters reportedly found York and his son just steps from the exit, leading investigators to believe that they were trying to escape but were blinded by smoke. York reportedly stored “a lot” of ammunition in the room, but investigators did not say whether that is what caused the explosion. York was described by family members as “an outdoorsman who loved fishing and target shooting with his son.”

Source: “Two Dead After Weapon Discharge Causes Explosion Fire,” wbbjtv.com, August 19, 2013.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Gregory Morris Booton CONVICTED

Date: October 17, 2012
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On October 17, 2012, concealed handgun permit holder Gregory Morris Booton, 49, shot John Franklin Tucker, 46, multiple times outside of Tucker’s residence. Tucker was pronounced dead the following morning. According to police, the two men had been involved in a verbal altercation over a female friend prior to the shooting. Booton was charged with first degree murder.

UPDATE: On March 11, 2014, Gregory Morris Booton pled guilty to second degree murder in the death of John Franklin Tucker. On April 29, 2014, Booton was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Source: “Booton sentenced to 23-years on murder charge,” The Herald-Chronicle, May 3, 2014; “Murder suspect remains in Franklin County Jail,” The Herald-Chronicle, October 22, 2012; “Winchester man charged with first degree murder, WSMV-TV, October 18, 2012.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Paul Clifford Moore Jr.  CONVICTED

Date: May 21, 2012
People Killed: 3


Circumstances:
On May 21, 2012, concealed handgun permit holder Paul Clifford Moore Jr., 53, shot and killed his wife, Christina Moore, 39, her twin sister, Bridgette Stagnolia, 39, and his wife’s lover, Amber Snellings, 24. Moore had learned two months earlier that his wife was having an affair with Snellings and reportedly bought a gun and threatened to kill Snellings. On the day of the murder, Moore shot Snellings three times in a bedroom in his apartment and then shot both his wife and Stagnolia twice: once in the forehead and once in the back of the head. Moore was charged with three counts of first degree murder. The prosecutor called the killings “the most unmerciful conduct this court has ever seen.” In January 2014, Moore was convicted of three counts of second degree murder and in March 2014, Moore was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Source: “Powell man gets 30 years in triple killing,” Knoxville News-Sentinel, March 27, 2014; “Testimony outlines carnage in 2012 triple slaying,” Knoxville News-Sentinel, January 23, 2014; “Defendant in slayings challenges use of testimony from victim’s daughter,” Knoxville News-Sentinel, January 21, 2014.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Johnny Swack  INCOMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL

Date: September 7, 2011
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On September 7, 2011, concealed handgun permit holder Johnny Swack, 52, allegedly shot his former wife, Reinalda Ann Dupont England, 36, in the face with a pistol as she slept, killing her. After the shooting, Swack called 911 and reported the shooting as an accident. He was later arrested for her murder. According to his sister Susan Swack, Johnny Swack had mental problems that were evident months prior to the shooting: “He thought people were poisoning him. He thought people were following him. He had been trying to turn himself in at police stations and he wasn’t wanted for anything so they couldn’t keep him.” Susan Swack told reporters that she had called police and asked them to take her brother’s two handguns, but he had a legal permit. Johnny Swack had been treated at a mental institution weeks before the killing, where he was diagnosed with bipolarism, medicated, and then released. Said Susan Swack, “They refused to talk to the family at the mental place. I said, ‘he’s paranoid schizophrenic. He has guns and y’all need to do something about him.’ And they released him a few days later.”

UPDATE: In July 2012, Johnny Swack was found mentally ill and committed to judicial hospitalization under involuntary commitment. According to the deputy clerk, Swack will be evaluated every six months to determine if he is capable of standing trial. According to the judge’s ruling, the case has not been dismissed, but is on hold until Swack can be deemed mentally fit.

Source: “Johnny Swack found mentally unfit to stand trial in murder case,” Macon County Times, July 11, 2012; “Sister of accused murderer speaks out,” WSMV-TV, September 19, 2011; “Man Arrested for First Degree Murder,” Macon County Chronicle, September 13, 2011.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Shannon Scott Paul  SHOT AND KILLED DURING INCIDENT

Date: June 20, 2011
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On June 20, 2011, concealed handgun permit holder Shannon Scott Paul was shot and killed during an argument in a shopping center parking lot. According to investigators, Paul and Ryan Dickens got into an argument while driving in separate vehicles. Both men then drove into the parking lot of the Owen Place Shopping Center, got out of their vehicles, and continued their argument. Paul, who was a concealed carry permit holder, then shot Dickens. According to police, Dickens then wrestled the gun away from Paul and shot him. Paul died from his injuries. Dickens was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Source: “One killed, one injured in shopping center shooting,” wrcbtv.com, June 20, 2011.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Randolph Sims  CONVICTED

Date: February 2011
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
In February 2011, concealed handgun permit holder Randolph Sims, 34, shot and killed his girlfriend, Adrianne Watson, 35, as she walked into his apartment. According to news reports, Sims was “knocking back drinks and unloading his shotgun” when it went off, hitting Watson in the stomach as she was entering Sims’ apartment. “It was an accident,” Sims stated at his trial, “I pumped it, and it went off.” At the time of the shooting, Sims’ blood alcohol level was 0.21, almost three times the legal limit for measuring intoxication. At his trial, the Assistant District Attorney stated that Sims had been schooled on gun safety and should have known better than to handle the weapon while drinking. Immediately after the shooting, Sims told police that he had thought Watson was an intruder, a story he abandoned during his trial, stating, “That’s what I said…I’d been drinking. I was scared the police were going to charge me because I’d been drinking.” Sims was convicted of reckless homicide in July 2012

Source: “Man guilty of lesser charge in girlfriend’s death,” knoxnews.com, July 12, 2012; “Suspect in fatal shooting: ‘It was an accident,’” knoxnews.com, July 10 2012.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Michael Joe Hood  CONVICTED

Date: March 27, 2010
People Killed: 3


Circumstances:
On March 27, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Michael Joe Hood, 49, shot and killed his sister Susan Hood Binkley, 44, her ex-husband Dale Binkley, 42, and their 13-year-old son Jackson Binkley. All four shared a house in Cheatham County. Sheriff John Holder told reporters that police were looking at two motives for the mass shooting. The first was a possible disagreement over recycling aluminum cans: Hood had placed a sign on the family’s refrigerator to collect the cans, but it had been removed. The second possible scenario was an argument over the family dog. Family members said Hood had a history of mental illness. Dale Binkley’s sister Pamela told reporters, “I don’t understand why someone who has a history of mental illness can have a legal permit to carry a gun….The police and the authorities are telling me he had permits to carry the guns that killed my loved ones. And he was on medicine, medication for mental illness. You tell me how, how does this happen?” Hood was charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

UPDATE: In June 2010 Hood pleaded guilty to the three murders and received three consecutive life sentences. Family member Pamela Binkley, who is now raising the two orphaned daughters of Dale and Susan Binkley, told the Tennessean that she planned to fight for tougher laws on getting gun permits.

Source: “Hood pleads guilty to murders,” Tennessean.com, June 16, 2010; “Murder suspect has been under suicide watch,” Tennessean.com, April 7, 2010; “3 Family Members Killed In Cheatham County,” WSMV.com, March 27, 2010; Database of Tennessee Handgun Carry Permits, The Commercial Appeal, www.commercialappeal.com/data/gunpermits.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Frank Graham CONVICTED

Date: February 12, 2010
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On February 12, 2010, 34-year-old firefighter, Frank Graham, shot his 35-year-old ex-girlfriend, Taffi Crawford, three times in the parking lot of Delta Medical Center. Graham had a history of domestic violence against his ex-wife and Crawford. The Memphis Fire Department terminated Graham after he had been charged with first degree murder. Graham held a handgun carry permit.

UPDATE: On January 16, 2012, Frank Graham was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Taffi Crawford. Graham argued the shooting was unintentional, claiming he just wanted to scare Crawford, but tripped and accidentally shot her. Prosecutors argued that Crawford was shot three times and that forensic analysis showed that two of the shots were fired while she was on the ground. Graham was sentenced to life in prison and may be eligible for parole after 51 years.

Source: “Former Firefighter Found Guilty of First Degree Murder,” abc24.com, January 16, 2012; “CRIME REPORT: Memphis fires firefighter charged with murder.” The Commercial Appeal, February 17, 2010.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Troy D. Whiteside  CONVICTED

Date: August 22, 2009
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On August 22, 2009, Troy D. Whiteside, 41, allegedly shot and killed Reginald Stacy Sudderth, 43, in a parking lot outside a clothing goods store in East Knoxville. According to news reports, neighborhood residents said the two, who had known each other for years and had competing businesses, “couldn’t stand to be around each other.” There were also allegations of arson. In the parking lot, Whiteside allegedly shot at Sudderth more than 10 times with a 9mm pistol. Sudderth was hit several times and died. Whiteside’s attorney claimed that in the lot Sudderth threatened his client and acted as though he were reaching for a weapon. The attorney representing Sudderth’s family stated that Sudderth, who was barred from possessing firearms because of a felony drug conviction, “was unarmed as he is always unarmed and known in the community not to carry weapons.” Whiteside, who was issued a concealed handgun permit on October 19, 2007, was charged with second degree murder and faces a three million dollar wrongful death suit filed by Sudderth’s family.

UPDATE: On May 28, 2015, Troy Whiteside pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment in the death of Reginald Sudderth. Whiteside was sentenced to 21 years in prison and must serve seven years and four months before he is eligible for parole.

Source: “Political benefactor, businessman reaches plea deal in killing,” wbir.com, May 28, 2015; “Update: Shooting case to keep businessman away from ORNL,” wbir.com, September 2, 2009; “Bad feelings between two East Knoxville residents went back years,” knoxnews.com, August 30, 2009; “Attorney: Whiteside killed man in self-defense,” knoxnews.com, August 24, 2009.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Thomas Pate  CONVICTED

Date: April 30, 2009
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On April 30, 2009, Thomas Pate reported his wife missing to police, telling them that she had failed to return home after going for a run. Pate eventually gave investigators information that led them to his wife’s body. Police found her body the night of May 1 near the Loosahatchie River about five miles from the couple’s home. Pate told police he had shot his wife in the head and then threw the pistol in the river. His lawyer claimed the shooting was accidental and occurred when Micah Pate walked in front of Thomas Pate as they were target shooting. Pate had a concealed handgun permit that was issued on November 27, 2006. Pate’s wife also had a concealed handgun permit. He was initially charged with second degree murder. The charge was later upgraded to premeditated first-degree murder.

Update: In March 2011 Thomas Pate entered into a plea agreement in which he plead guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder, receiving a prison sentence of 25 years.

Source: “In last-minute agreement, Thomas Pate pleads guilty to second-degree murder,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, March 7, 2011; “Jury selection to begin for Bartlett man whose wife was shot to death,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, March 6, 2011; “Murder charges upgraded against Bartlett man,” Associated Press, September 21, 2009; “Husband charged in Tenn with Searcy woman’s death,” Associated Press, May 5, 2009; “Pate Claims Wife’s Death an Accident,” myfoxmemphis.com, May 4, 2009; “Bartlett nurse’s husband charged with second degree murder,” wmctv.com, May 3, 2009; “Neighbors Shocked Husband Arrested in Wife’s Death,” wreg.com, May 2, 2009.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Austin Agee  SUICIDE

Date: March 2009
People Killed: 2 (including shooter)


Circumstances:
In March 2009, Austin Agee shot and killed Lisa Davis and dumped her body in a field where he used to ride four-wheelers. On March 7, 2009, Agee, Davis, and three other acquaintances partied together in the Beale Street entertainment district in Memphis. The group dropped Davis off at her residence early Sunday morning, but Agee is believed to have returned to the house. Friends reported Davis missing on Sunday when she failed to show up for work at Bumpus Harley-Davidson. On Tuesday, March 10, 2009, Agee fatally shot himself after detectives arrived at his residence to question him as a “person of interest” in the Davis disappearance. A note found at his residence quoted Agee as being sorry for what he had done and revealed where the body could be found. Agee had a concealed handgun permit which was issued on November 10, 2008.

Source: “Details Emerge About Tennessee Model Slain in Mysterious Murder,” FoxNews.com, March 13, 2009; “Double tragedy: Suspect’s note leads to remains of missing Bartlett woman in Lakeland field,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, March 10, 2009.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Harry Raymond Coleman  CONVICTED

Date: February 6, 2009
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On February 6, 2009, Harry Raymond Coleman, 60, shot and killed Robert “Dutch” Schwerin, 52, during an argument over how close their SUVs were parked. The shooting occurred outside the Villa Castrioti restaurant where Schwerin and a woman identified as Coleman’s wife were arguing over how close his GMC Yukon Denali was parked to her Hummer. Coleman retrieved his 45 caliber pistol from the Hummer and shot Schwerin in the chest. Coleman, who received a concealed handgun permit in June 2006, was charged with second-degree murder.

UPDATE: In July 2010, Coleman was convicted of second degree murder, aggravated assault, and two counts of assault. Coleman faces up to 25 years in prison without parole. After the verdict, Coleman tried to ingest a mouthful of prescription pills. During the trial, prosecutors told jurors that Coleman and his wife were not fearful that night, only angry, adding, “Poor Harry Coleman. He had to kill a man. He wants to be the first man in history to stick a gun in the mouth of an unarmed man, to stick it in the chest of an unarmed man and then to shoot him to death in front of his children and then call himself a victim.”

Source: “Coleman found guilty of second-degree murder in parking lot shooting,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, July 17, 2010; “Attorney: Accused shooter in Cordova parking-lot killing regretful,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, February 9, 2009; “In Brief: Cordova shooter appears in court,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, February 24, 2009.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Martino Johnson  CONVICTED

Date: February 23, 2009
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
On February 23, 2009, concealed handgun permit holder Martino Johnson, 34, allegedly shot and killed Terrelle Beasley with a 40 caliber pistol following a car accident in Memphis. The shooting occurred after Beasley accidently sideswiped Johnson’s Ford Taurus with his Honda Civic. Both men jumped out of their cars and began arguing. Police said Johnson pulled out his gun and shot Beasley three times. He died half an hour later. Beasley’s mother, Estella Beasley, told reporters, “If you ask me what type of person [Johnson] is, he’s a coward. He’s a coward because you don’t take nobody’s life, for no reason. Why should a real man carry a gun? What do you need one for?” Johnson, also reportedly threatened to kill an eyewitness who was trying to call 911. Johnson’s concealed handgun permit was issued on January 24, 2007. He was charged with second degree murder and aggravated assault.

UPDATE: On December 6, 2010, Martino Johnson pleaded guilty to second degree murder and aggravated assault in the death of Terrelle Beasley. Johnson was sentenced to 15 years in prison on the murder charge and three years for aggravated assault.

Source: Case Information, State of Tennessee v. Martino Johnson, cjs.shelbycountytn.gov; “Shooter threatened witness, police say,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, February 25, 2009; “Most say shooter’s actions during robbery attempt on target,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, July 10, 2009.

 

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Demetria Nance  CONVICTED

Date: December 2008
People Killed: 1


Circumstances:
In December 2008, Demetria Nance shot and killed her on-again, off-again boyfriend Aaron Benton III, firing four shots from a 9mm pistol. Nance testified that after Benton decided to end their relationship she was emotionally confused and that after Benton shoved her and turned away she drew her pistol and fired—intending to hit him in the leg. Nance’s lawyer said that she had not planned in advance to shoot Benton, but that after having been robbed “it was her habit to carry the gun with her at all times in her purse.” Nance, who had a concealed handgun permit, was convicted of second degree murder in November 2009.

Source: “Woman convicted of 2nd degree murder,” The Knoxville News-Sentinel, November 13, 2009; “Trial Centers Around Intent to Kill,” The Knoxville News-Sentinel, November 10, 2009.