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.)


Seminar On Quality Control In The Nuclear Industry Set For Monday

Chattanooga State Engineering Technology Division in cooperation with the Regional Center for Nuclear Education and Training will be hosting a professional development seminar, Quality Control in the Nuclear Industry: Radiographic Testing, on Monday.  The seminar will be from 9:30-11 a.m. at Chattanooga State. Room information will be sent with confirmation.  Space ... (click for more)

Communications Tower Proposed For Walker And Catoosa County Line

A 180 foot tall, wireless communications tower (cell phone tower) is proposed for a residential area on Napier (Watoosa) Ridge in Catoosa County, on the Walker County line. Rodney Richardson, the property owner, has filed a Special Use Permit for Communications Tower, Case # 1140-14, with the Catoosa County Planning and Zoning Office.   The proposed tower would be visible ... (click for more)

Strong Winds, Freezing Temperatures In Chattanooga Forecast; Growers Advised To Take Precautions With Young Crops

A cold front with strong winds was moving into the Chattanooga area today and was set to bring freezing temperatures overnight. Area growers were advised to take precautions with their young crops. Temperatures were expected to drop into the 20s. Here is the freeze warning: ...WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM EDT /7 AM CDT/ THIS MORNING TO 8 PM EDT /7 PM CDT/ THIS EVENING... ... (click for more)

Zachary Bryant Was 6-Year-Old Killed Monday At Chattanooga Valley Elementary

Zachary Bryant has been identified as the 6-year-old boy who was killed after being run over by a school bus on Monday at Chattanooga Valley Elementary School. Authorities said the kindergarten student had just gotten off the bus when it moved forward and struck him. Walker County coroner Dewayne Wilson said he was killed immediately in the 7 a.m. incident. Funeral ... (click for more)

What's Wrong With The City Recycle Program? - And Response (2)

Being new to recycling, I have lots to learn.  I rely on 311 and the attendants at the neighborhood collection centers to assist in building my knowledge.   Recently, I had an experience that makes me reconsidered my recycling efforts.  I loaded up my car, called 311 to verify what I could take, only to be blocked by the attendant at my neighborhood collection ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: That Billboard & Much More

Now that early voting has started and our strawberries have hopefully survived this last blush of winter, allow me to catch up on some things but, first, here’s a letter from a concerned reader I feel compelled to share: “There is something I have noticed throughout Brainerd, East Brainerd, Dayton, etc. A billboard has been put up, I believe by the Health Department of Hamilton ... (click for more)