Judge Throws Out Count 1 Of RICO Cases Brought Against Athens Park Bloods

Friday, August 23, 2019

Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz, in a 27-page opinion, has dismissed count 1 of an indictment brought against most of the 55 members of the Athens Park Bloods gang by the District Attorney's Office. The ruling did not affect a few of the defendants.

Judge Greenholtz said, "Count I fails to allege the existence of two predicate acts occurring within two years of each other, and as such, fails to establish 'a pattern of racketeering activity' as defined by Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-12-203(6)."

The judge said he also has "outstanding issues" about the second count of the indictment.

The indictments had been brought after the state passed a RICO statute aimed at curtailing activities of street gangs.

However, defense attorneys brought a host of objections to the prosecution. Several attorneys had sought to be allowed out of the case, saying there was an overwhelming amount of evidence to go through. That included hundreds of hours of taped jail conversations.

Judge Greenholtz said in an attachment to the ruling:

·         Memorandum Opinion:  The attached document is a memorandum opinion that addresses the issues raised in (Jadarius) Bowling Motion No. 7 as they relate to Count 1 of the superseding presentment.   These issues have also been addressed in several other motions, and the Court will enter separate orders in all of the cases (and joinders) where these issues have been raised.   A few cases are not affected by this opinion, and the Court will later address the remaining issues in those cases.

·         August 26, 2019 – Status Conference:  This upcoming Monday is a check-in date for persons on bail.   Waivers of appearance are always welcome and preferred.

The Court has outstanding issues related to Count 2 of the presentment, and it therefore does not anticipate hearing substantive motions on August 26 prior to that decision.  As always, however, the Court will schedule for special hearing any issues that require attention.

·         Severance:  While the issues related to Count 2 remain, the Court would like to hear from affected parties initially about severing now the following Counts from the main RICO action, with each forming its own separate case under a unique scheduling order:  Count 3 (Cortez Sims); Count 4(Collier, Arnold, and J. Clemmons); Count 10 (High); Count 11 (Grier); Count 12 (High); Counts 13, 24 and 25 (Bragg and Grier); Counts 14 and 15 (McReynolds); Count 16 (High); Count 17 (High).

·         September 30, 2019 – Status Conference:  The Court anticipates a status conference in September after further orders have been entered.   At that time, the Court would invite thoughts as to the severance or consolidation of the RICO cases, as well as how all the cases related to Bianca Horton’s murder should be severed or consolidated. 

As part of the prosecution the state is seeking the death penalty against Andre Grier, Courtney High and Charles Shelton in the slaying of state witness Bianca Horton.

Click here to read the opinion.


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

City Council Chairman Indicates BID Board May Reverse Action On Charging Non-Profits; Charges Range From $3,060 For United Way To Over $14,000 For Y


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ADAMS, CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL 4314 NORCROSS ROAD HIXSOBN, 37343 Age at Arrest: 41 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga CRIMINAL TRESPASSING ... (click for more)

Here are the No Bills and True Bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: 1 BARNETT, PRINTICE JAMES FAILURE TO MAINTAIN LANE 02/19/2020 2 BARNETT, PRINTICE JAMES TINTED ... (click for more)

City Council Chairman Erskine Oglesby indicated Tuesday night that he thinks the downtown Business Improvement District Board may reverse its action of charging four non-profits within the district. ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ADAMS, CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL 4314 NORCROSS ROAD HIXSOBN, 37343 Age at Arrest: 41 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga CRIMINAL TRESPASSING CONTRABAND IN PENAL INSTITUTIONS POSSESSION OF METH (SELL, DEL. OR MANUFACTURING) --- BARCLAY, RONELL HARRIS 2506 CHAMBERLAIN AVE CHATTANOOGA, 374043823 Age at Arrest: ... (click for more)

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the No Bills and True Bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: 1 BARNETT, PRINTICE JAMES FAILURE TO MAINTAIN LANE 02/19/2020 2 BARNETT, PRINTICE JAMES TINTED WINDOWS VIOLATION 02/19/2020 1 MCBRYAR, MYRON KEITH CONTRABAND IN PENAL INSTITUTIONS 02/19/2020 1 STRO, JESSICA BROOKE DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE 02/19/2020 1 UPSHAW, JOANN FINANCIAL ... (click for more)

Opinion

School Board Needs More Leaders, Not Followers

It is disappointing that Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson’s contract is being prematurely extended and that the amount of his compensation package has been significantly increased based on hopes of performance improvements. The disfunction of the School Board’s discussion Monday night is reason enough for Thursday night’s vote to be reconsidered or delayed. Dr. Johnson is the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Don’t Fret The Coronavirus

It has been famously said, “The mind that is anxious about the future is miserable,” so let’s clear up this one right now: You ain’t gonna’ get the coronavirus. Yes, it has been declared an “emergency” in the United States, and yesterday the number of confirmed cases topped 75,000. But that’s 75,000 in a world of 7.8 billion people. Right now there have been 15 cases in the United ... (click for more)

Sports

Tennessee's Trey Smith Named Jason Witten Man Of The Year

ennessee junior offensive lineman Trey Smith was named the 2020 Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year by a subset of the award’s Board of Directors on Tuesday night at the Star in Frisco, the practice facility of the Dallas Cowboys. The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award is presented annually to the Division I college football player who has demonstrated a record ... (click for more)

Hoops Central: Lady Vols At #25 Arkansas On Thursday

ennessee (17-8, 7-5 SEC), which is receiving votes in this week's AP and USA TODAY Coaches Polls, will travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where it will meet the No. 22/25 Arkansas Razorbacks (20-5, 8-4 SEC) on Thursday at 6:02 p.m. CT (7:02 ET) at Bud Walton Arena. The Lady Vols enter the contest in seventh place in the SEC standings and a game back of UA, which is tied for ... (click for more)