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.


Burglary Suspects Arrested By Chance, Due To Malfunctioning Tag Lights

Hamilton County deputies arrested burglary suspects by chance after pulling over a vehicle because of malfunctioning tag lights on July 25. When deputies walked up to the vehicle, they noticed the rear seat passenger making very sudden movements. They also saw him stuff something into a back pack.  While at the window, deputies noticed a large knife lying out in the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Arrested On Child Rape Charges

A Chattanooga man was taken into custody after he admitted to police that he raped his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. According to police, the young girl was with her grandmother the following day and told her what her father, Michael Skellenger, had done.  Her grandmother immediately rushed her to the hospital for an examination. They were directed to the Children's ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Scottsboro’s Pat Trammell

I got a warm feeling Tuesday when it was announced Pat Trammell will be among those in the inaugural class of the Jackson County (Ala.) Sports Hall of Fame. When the august group is enshrined at Scottsboro’s Goose Pond Civic Center on Nov. 1, most folks won’t even know who Pat Trammell was but I knew all about him in my very first year as a fledgling sports writer back in 1967 and, ... (click for more)

Recap of 17 Stop, Prep Football Tour

Starting at Soddy Daisy at 7:44 a.m. and leaving Silverdale 14 hours later ( 9:58 p.m.), the fifth annual Chattanoogan.com prep football tour made whistle stops at 17 schools covering 220 miles.   The Chattanooga Jamboree is Aug. 15-16 at Finley Stadium and the season openers are Thurs. Aug. 21   - Cleveland vs. McCallie (Finley Stadium) ... (click for more)

NPSL National Championship To Be Played At Red Bulls Arena

The NPSL announced on Monday that the national championship match between Chattanooga FC and the Red Bulls U23 will be played on Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.  The match will be played following an MLS match between New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution.   Local fans took to social media to appeal for the game to be played in Chattanooga. ... (click for more)