Byrd Gets Year In Jail, 3 Years Probation In Kanku Slaying

Monday, November 26, 2012 - by Gail Perry

Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern on Monday sentenced Jamaal Byrd to active time of 11 months, 29 days with three months credit for time already served in a fatal shooting Feb. 27, 2010, at the Kanku’s at Wilcox and Tunnel Boulevard. He will also be on probation for three years.

Attorney Ryan Hanzelik argued the shooting of Terrance Etchison was in self defense for himself and his four-year-old daughter who at the time was asleep in the back seat of the car. The verdict, decided at the July 13 trial, was involuntary manslaughter carrying a sentence of 3-6 years.

Attorney Hanzelik reiterated that his client had been told twice that he would be killed and that the car would be shot if he left. Etchison was a longtime acquaintance of Byrd's and was a recognized gang member, he said. It was also known that he had been in federal prison.

The attorney said that night, Etchison appeared intoxicated, which tests later proved to be true. He said Byrd had been threatened before concerning a female he had dated while Etchison was incarcerated.

Judge Stern was told that Byrd was afraid for his life and that of his daughter and defended himself with a gun taken from the trunk of his car. The following day, Byrd turned himself in and served three months in isolation since jailers feared gang retaliation.

Byrd told the court, “I hate it happened” and that “it’s something I have to deal with every day.”

In cross-examination prosecutor Brian Finlay asked for a stiffer sentence. He argued that at the time of the shooting, Byrd was on probation for possession of a gun without a permit to carry it although it was registered. At the same time, a second gun was being carried in the trunk of his car. He also said that Byrd had the opportunity to leave.

Prosecutor Finlay stated that the gun owned by Etchison was never seen on the video although a witness to the incident was seen pulling a shiny object out of Etchison's pocket and putting it on the ground. Furthermore, the prosecutor said that Byrd had shown no remorse for taking a man’s life, to which Judge Stern replied that his argument was self defense.

In her ruling, Judge Stern said “some confinement is necessary” in order to deter others and to set an example to young men that they just cannot take the law into their own hands by shooting people.

The defense has 30 days to file an appeal; otherwise a date will be set for Byrd to turn himself in to the workhouse. In the meantime, he will remain on the same bond pending appeal.

 



Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide Takes Off From Hospital

A man involved in a fatal wreck in which his passenger died was taken to a hospital, then absconded, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.   The THP was dispatched to State Route 81 in Washington County, Tn., to a motor vehicle crash with injuries and possible fatality.  Officers arrived on the scene and found an unresponsive male subject lying outside of the vehicle ... (click for more)

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Mitchell). III. Minute Approval. IV. Special Presentation. PUBLIC HEARING - Annexation - Lookout Mountain Conservancy PUBLIC HEARING - Deannexation - Institute of Health and Healing V. Ordinances – Final Reading: PLANNING ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: At Last! New Schools

In this me-me-me-only-me world of today, we-we-we-finally got a thrilling $125 million facility plan for the Hamilton County Department of Education on Thursday night. The School Board unanimously approved a well-thought-out “first Band-Aid” that will provide a new elementary school in Harrison, middle schools in East Hamilton and Howard, and a quite-satisfactory answer to move ... (click for more)

Mocs Volleyball Wins 3-0 At Western Carolina

The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team snapped a two-game skid with a convincing 3-0 (25-13, 25-22, 25-23) sweep over Western Carolina on Friday evening in Cullowhee, N.C.   Following the win, the Mocs improve to 12-11 overall and 5-4 in Southern Conference action. The Catamounts fall to 7-15, 2-7 in the SoCon.   It was a balanced effort on offense as three different ... (click for more)

Lanters Are Latest Sister Acts Leading Lady Flames Teams

When one looks back on the success of the Lee University women’s soccer program over the past 16 years, it is easy to see what sisters have provided. Records show the surge began in 2001 and continues today with senior Summer and freshman Anna Lanter (former Soddy Daisy High School standouts) helping spark the Lady Flames to a current 8-4 overall mark and 7-2 in the rugged Gulf ... (click for more)