Lee Davis: 1969 Murder Conviction Reversed By Court of Criminal Appeals

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - by Attorney Lee Davis
Lee Davis
Lee Davis

Now this is a wild one. The original robbery and murder occurred at a Memphis liquor store in 1966 and a conviction against Ms. Freshwater was returned in 1969. The robbery and murder were committed by Attorney Glen Nash and his partner in crime Margo Freshwater. After her conviction, Margot Freshwater escaped from prison in 1970 and she was on the run until 2002. Now, 45 years after the crime, her case has been overturned on a Brady (withholding favorable evidence by the State) violation and sent back to Shelby County for a new trial.

The main issue was whether state prosecutors withheld from Ms. Freshwater's lawyer a statement of a witness, Johnny Box, that Ms. Freshwater's co-defendant, Glen Nash, told him that he, Nash, had been the lone shooter of the victim, which, had it been revealed to her lawyer, would most likely have resulted in a different judgment. The Court of Criminal Appeals thinks so and reversed the conviction.

The evidence in question is a four page written statement that details what Attorney Nash told to Johnny Box and was in the files of the District Attorney. The relevant part states that he, Nash, was the sole shooter. The statement provided in part to Freshwater's lawyer was missing that important part, intentionally.

While it is highly unlikely that the events here will repeat themselves, it is significant that it was through a petition for a writ of error coram nobis that Freshwater found relief. Typically the court is reluctant to hear arguments about evidence from trial and how the parties exchanged it at such a late date. But here a fundamental fair trial right was touched upon when it was shown that the state had the actual statement in its possession that this statement was at odds with the partial evidence disclosed by the state with the inference that Freshwater was the actual shooter in the murder.

As a point of interest, the lawyer Glen Nash was found to be insane in Mississippi where the couple was arrested and he remains committed there today.

(Lee Davis is a Chattanooga attorney who can be reached at 266-0605.)



Chattanooga Chamber Calendar Of Events Feb. 20-22

Feb. 20 Red Bank Chamber Council Meeting Noon to 1 p.m. Red Bank Community Center: Tom Weathers Dr. $10 Feb. 21 Southside Chamber Council Community Coffee 8 to 9 a.m. The Barn Nursery: 1801 E. 24th St . Feb. 21 Reality Check at Lookout Valley High School 8:30 to 10 a.m. Lookout Valley High School: 350 Lookout High St . Reality ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Gas Files First Rate Request In 8 Years

Chattanooga Gas on Thursday filed its first general rate request in eight years with the Tennessee Public Utility Commission. The company reports in its petition that a $7 million increase in base rates is necessary for system improvements to accommodate new growth, avoid interruptions in service, install critical safety infrastructure and recruit and cross-train the next generation ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In Accident Involving 18-Wheeler On Ochs Highway

One person was killed Saturday morning on Ochs Highway. Another person in the same vehicle was taken to the hospital. An 18-wheeler was coming down the mountain, and hit three cars traveling up the mountain. Ochs Highway was closed in both directions, and HAZMAT crews were at the scene. The wreck happened at mid-morning. (click for more)

Erlanger, UT Medical Say Working To Resolve Issues

Erlanger Health System and University of Tennessee College of Medicine officials said they are working through some issues, but expect to maintain their long-standing relationship. The entities said they "are facing a number of historic matters that are being addressed in a proactive manner. Our intentions are to transition to a more contemporary model, thereby enhancing ... (click for more)

Six Things We Can Do About Mass Shootings

All politics aside, the recent shooting in Florida, and every other shooting in a public place, is a senseless and, possibly, preventable tragedy. It is absurd that we can’t gather in a free society without the fear of some nut job or terrorist using us as targets.   And then the cries of “do something!” from every quarter. But, other than the obvious attempt by agenda-pushers ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

It wasn’t lost on me that during Valentine Week, when we most remember those we love, this first story was included in my weekly email. As has become my habit, every Saturday I try to come up with a new edition of The Saturday Funnies because I get some delightful ones that are shared by my friends during the week. We must never waste a giggle. So in keeping with my ... (click for more)