All Charges Dropped Against Jessie Wright, Erlanger Lifts Suspension

Warrants Were Issued After He Rushed Wife To Hospital

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Charges of traffic violations, evading arrest, assault on a police officer, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and registration violation have been dismissed against Jessie Wright. These charges stem from the incident that occurred at Erlanger Hospital last Wednesday, just after midnight.

Hamilton County District Attorney General Bill Cox and Chattanooga Police Department Chief Mark Rawlston have reviewed the incident and concluded the necessity for Mr. Wright to reach the hospital with his wife was greater than the offenses for which he was charged and arrested.

At the direction of Chief Rawlston, the Internal Affairs Division will continue the Internal Affairs investigation and will also take a look at policy and procedures involving these types of incidents, supervisory responsibilities and training issues.

Officials said, "We deeply regret this incident has occurred and hope to meet with Mr. and Mrs. Wright at their earliest convenience to discuss the events of June 16."

Mr. Wright's suspension at Erlanger was also lifted, according to a statement released by the hospital.

Officials said, "At Erlanger, it is a matter of routine to suspend an employee once he/she has been charged with a felony offense. Circumstances surrounding that charge determine whether or not the employee returns to work. We investigate whether or not that felony charge could pose a potential threat to patients, visitors and/or staff.

"Based on Erlanger’s investigation of Mr. Wright’s felony charge, the decision was made Monday to lift his suspension. He has been notified of his lifted suspension and will be returning to work at Erlanger. He will also be paid for the only day he missed during his suspension."

Contacted Tuesday afternoon, concerning the defense of necessity, General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon said, "The medical necessity defense is usually grounded in either a state's common law or general necessity defense statute.

"Regardless of its origin, the basis of the necessity defense is that society is sometimes willing to excuse or even justify conduct that would otherwise be illegal if that conduct was done to avoid an even worse or greater evil. This defense theory reflects society's understanding that external forces beyond a person's control sometimes place that person in an emergency situation where he or she must choose between the harm or 'evil' of breaking the criminal code or complying with the code and allowing an even greater harm or 'evil' to occur.

"In these situations, if a person violates the law in order to avoid the greater harm, the defense of necessity excuses the person from being guilty of what would otherwise be a crime.

"The elements of a necessity defense vary from state-to-state, and from the federal standard. Generally, the defense must show 1) that the defendant did not intentionally bring about the circumstance which caused the unlawful act; 2) that the defendant could not accomplish the same objective using a less offensive (i.e. "more legal") alternative available to the defendant; and 3) that the evil sought to be avoided was more heinous than the unlawful act perpetrated to avoid it.

"Under federal law, a defendant must establish the existence of four elements to be entitled to a necessity defense: 1) that he was faced with a choice of evils and chose the lesser evil; 2) that he acted to prevent imminent harm; 3) that he reasonably anticipated a causal relation between his conduct and the harm to be avoided; and 4) that there were no other legal alternatives to violating the law."

He cited Tennessee Code Annotated, section 39-11-609 which codifies the common law defense of “necessity.”

The statute reads: Except as provided in section 39-11-611, through 39-11-616, et. Al, conduct is justified if: (1)the person reasonably believes that the conduct is immediately necessary to avoid the imminent harm; and (2) the desirability and urgency of avoiding the harm clearly outweigh the harm sought to be prevented by the law proscribing the conduct, according to ordinary standards of reasonableness.

Avery Charged In Attack With Chair Leg At Moccasin Bend That Left Man In Critical Condition

An arrest has been made in the aggravated assault Thursday at the Moccasin Bend Mental Health facility that left 38-year-old Kevin Green in critical condition. He was struck in the head with a chair leg, police said. Leviticus Avery, 37, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. He is an inmate at the Hamilton County Jail. ... (click for more)

Police Say Mullis Was Involved In Incident In Which Woman Was Shot Outside Hixson Walmart

Anthony Lee Mullis, 21, is facing several charges including attempted aggravated robbery on Sept. 28.       In that incident, the victim was found at the Hixson Walmart with a gunshot wound to her hip.   She stated that she had agreed to meet with the defendant in the parking lot to buy some “Roxys” or Oxycodone, but that when she ... (click for more)

The Facts About Jail

Since Roy had such a positive reaction to Jeffrey Cross's wonderful (and wonderfully civil--how refreshing) email response to his column on the bike lanes, allow me to speak on the subject of the jail.  First off, Roy's right about some things:  It is overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed.  This is no secret, it's in the Grand Jury report every term.  Here's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Must Learn To Tell

On July 4th of this year, FBI agents – acting on a tip -- arrested Alexander Ciccolo, a 23-year-old with known mental problems, as he carried a duffle bag full of automatic attack weapons. Moments before, he had bought the illegal firearms from an undercover informant outside of Boston. As agents later scoured his apartment, they found bomb-making equipment including a pressure ... (click for more)

Healthy Silverdale Takes Down Grace For 5-1A Volleyball Title

With season-long injuries healed and a full contingent of players available, Silverdale Baptist Academy completed a run for the District 5-1A volleyball tournament championship by sweeping Grace Baptist Academy, 3-0, on Thursday. The game scores were 25-22, 25-20 and 25-18. The host Lady Seahawks advance to the Region 3-1A tournament on Monday at Sale Creek and will play ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Wins 7-AA Volleyball Over Notre Dame

Notre Dame and Signal Mountain seem to bring out the best in each other, at least when the sport is volleyball. These were the top two teams in District 7-AA this fall.  Signal got the top seed based on its 3-0 win at Notre Dame after the Lady Irish had taken a 3-1 match at Signal early in the season. But with all the chips on the line for the 7-AA tournament championship, ... (click for more)