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."



Copies Of Remaining Chattanooga Photo Books Available At Zarzour's Restaurant; By Mail

Remaining copies of the Chattanooga Photo books are available at Zarzours Restaurant on Rossville Avenue off Main Street. It is near Fire Hall #1. They include the Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga, and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga.  All were published by Chattanoogan.com.  and printed by College Press at Collegedale. The ... (click for more)

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 ... (click for more)

Stormwater Fiasco And East Ridge Camping

When did the Chattanooga City Council get replaced by members of the East Ridge City Council? I don't recall a time in Chattanooga where they've voted to shoot the city in the foot more than they have lately.  If this goes through despite the environmental impact warnings and then Camp Jordan has increased flooding after spending millions on sports ball fields, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

The best story this Thanksgiving comes from the New Jersey Turnpike where a very attractive young woman ran out of gas last month. Kate McClure had little cash on her as she began to walk towards the closest gas station in the pitch-black dark. But she didn’t get far before a homeless man, his beard ragged and clothes filthy, told her this was a bad place for her to be.  ... (click for more)

Tyner Rams Advance To Class AA State Final

ROCKWOOD – It wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t easy, but the Tyner Rams will be playing for a state football championship in Class AA next Friday afternoon in Cookeville. Facing the Rockwood Tigers here at Tom Pemberton Stadium Friday night, the Rams showed what they’re really made of as they drove for the winning touchdown in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter to ... (click for more)

Streaking Alcoa Wraps Up 34-0 Semifinal Win Over Red Bank

Powerful Alcoa, a perennial state championship contender, defeated visiting Red Bank, 34-0, Friday night and returned to the TSSAA title game for the fifth straight year. The Tornadoes (12-2) dominated Friday’s Class 3A semifinal contest just like it did in two regular-season games against the Lions (11-3). Alcoa beat Red Bank in 2016 and 2015 by a combined 76-0. Alcoa, ... (click for more)