Poston Questions Whether Political Influence Was Involved In Decision Not To Prosecute Shooter Of Alzheimer's Patient; Hendrix Attorney Responds

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Attorney McCracken Poston said Wednesday he is questioning whether "outside political influences" helped lead to the decision not to charge a man who shot and killed an Alzheimer's patient outside a Chickamauga, Ga., residence.

Lookout Mountain Judicial District DA Herbert "Buzz" Franklin chose not to seek an indictment against Joe Hendrix.

Ronald Westbrook was killed last Nov. 27. Mr. Hendrix shot him 3-4 times when he continued to walk toward him holding what he thought might be a gun.

A short time before, a woman said Mr. Westbrook rang her doorbell and tried to get in her front door.

Mr. Hendrix said he called to Mr. Westbrook several times to try to get him to stop. He said he was afraid for the safety of his girlfriend, who was inside.

Attorney Poston said Mr. Hendrix "made sure to tell the detective, 'I work for a media outlet and I ran Scottie Mayfield's campaign last year."

The attorney said, "Mayfield, the scion of the family milk empire, recently used his influence to make an endorsement of a local political candidate.

"I want to ask our area elected officials if Mr. Mayfield or anyone else had any influence at all in their decision to refuse to prosecute the shooter of Mr. Westbrook, not only for the shooting, but for the more clear and obvious offenses of false statements to law enforcement officers."

He said Mr. Hendrix said he lived at the residence, but he said he actually does not live there.

Attorney Poston said Mr. Hendrix later said he lives in Chattanooga, but he and the female resident of the house are about to be engaged and married and that he will be living there. He said the girlfriend then said, "No, we are not."

Lee Davis, the attorney representing Joe Hendrix, responded, "I believe it is important for the public to know that Mr. Poston has no involvement with this case.  He is not part of the investigation and he certainly has no special knowledge of this matter except for what he has learned through public sources.  He is simply a lawyer with an opinion.

"I represent Joe Hendrix and have since the beginning of this tragic shooting.  Joe Hendrix has cooperated fully in the investigation of this matter since it began.  He has met with law enforcement, answered all their questions, and given a full account of his actions.  Through this entire process the only contact that Joe Hendrix has had with the sheriff’s department or the district attorney’s office has been through my office.  

"Mr. Poston raises baseless speculation questioning influence upon the district attorney’s investigation.  There has been none.  No one has sought to influence the outcome of this investigation.  From the beginning, Joe Hendrix has with transparency and honesty offered his sincere apology to the family of Ronald Westbrook and cooperated fully in the investigation.

"For Mr. Poston to suggest otherwise is irresponsible; not only to my client Joe Hendrix, but also to the District Attorney Buzz Franklin, the sheriff’s department  and to the Westbrook family."


Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like us on Facebook ... (click for more)

HCSO Arrests 2 Fugitives On Hamilton County’s Top 12 Most Wanted

The HCSO Fugitive Division captured two fugitives on Wednesday who were listed on the Sheriff’s 12 Most Wanted. Fugitive Marcus Demetrious Brooks, 24, was taken into custody by detectives with the Sheriff’s Fugitive Division with the assistance of the Chattanooga Police Department in the 1300 block of E. 3rd St. in Chattanooga.  Brooks is being processed into the Hamilton ... (click for more)

Prayers For Denny - And Response (2)

I don’t live in Chattanooga any longer unfortunately and haven’t for many years now, but when I did live there, I was more than a regular at Yesterdays.  It was basically my second home….as it was for many, many of my friends and others that I may not have known their names, but definitely knew their faces.   It was the “Cheers” of Chattanooga. It was the place that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘No Sir -- It Stays Here’

To any of the millions who have served the United States on the field of combat, the most hallowed and prized distinction is our nation’s Medal of Honor. It is never given, it is always earned before it is ever awarded.  At least that’s the way it was up until a sun-splashed Wednesday three weeks ago in Vicenza, Italy. There is an Army base there that houses the 173 rd Airborne ... (click for more)

Barons Bounce Back Wednesday Beating Lookouts, 3-1

After dropping game one, 9-4, Tuesday, the Birmingham Barons (13-19) nipped the Chattanooga Lookouts (24-8), 3-1. Fans at Wednesday night's game were treated to a pitcher's duel between two former first-round draft picks -- Chattanooga's Kohl Stewart and Birmingham's Stephen Kopech. Kopech struck out 12 hitters over six innings and the Barons' bullpen did the rest. Kopech ... (click for more)

SEC Annouces Television Schedule For First Three Weeks Of 2017 Season

The SEC Office on Tuesday announced the start times for games on the SEC Network during the first three weeks of the 2017 season.   The SEC Network Saturday schedule opens with three games on September 2 .  The Network will air six games on the second week of the season and five games in Week 3.  The first Conference matchup of the year on the ... (click for more)