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.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest booking report from Hamilton County: AUSTIN, RYAN BISHOP  121 ALBANY STEET CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge FUGITIVE (ARREST FOR CRIME IN WALKER CO, GA) --- BAKER, DONALD SCOTT  2012 LAURA STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 48 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ... (click for more)

Just 4,380 Have Voted In The City Election After 9 Days Of Early Voting

Just 4,380 Chattanooga voters have cast ballots after nine days of early voting leading up to the March 7 city election. One day just 48 people showed up at the Northgate voting site. Only 88 went to the most popular early voting site - the election office off Amnicola Highway the same day. The high turnout thus far has been 199 at the election office on Tuesday. The ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Trump's Latest Delight

I was quite amused this week when Donald Trump’s administration “locked out” several news organizations from the daily press briefings at the White House. The reason I loved it because in the 50 years I have spent in the news business, I have been locked out of press conferences, too. To be truthful, I am a longtime veteran of a bunch of “you versus me” squabbles and, if I do say, ... (click for more)

McCallie Advances To D-II Final Four With 67-48 Win

The third time wasn’t the charm for the Pope John Paul II Knights. Playing at McCallie in the quarterfinal round of the Division II state basketball tournament Saturday night, the Knights played better than they had the previous two times they met, but the result was the same as McCallie advanced to the Final Four with a 67-48 victory. McCallie, snipping a three-game losing ... (click for more)

'Canes Roll Past Stone Memorial 62-38 In Region 3-3A Action

East Hamilton was able to shake off a devastating 30-point loss to Cleveland in the District 5-3A championship game earlier in the week and Stone Memorial was victimized by the Hurricanes’ big bounce-back. East Hamilton held the visitors scoreless in the first quarter and went on to shellack the Panthers 62-38 in a history-making victory on its home court Saturday night. ... (click for more)