Hixson Group Home Where Caretaker Was Murdered Will Be Sold; Group Home Moves Out

Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Moving van at controversial group home on Garrett Drive
Moving van at controversial group home on Garrett Drive

A group home at 5705 Garrett Dr. in Northwoods, where a caretaker was murdered on Jan. 12, has closed and the house will be sold.

The owner, Richard Key, of Lutz, Fla., sent a letter to a neighbor confirming the closure and sale. He also apologized for the recent incident.

Mr. Key wrote, "I did not know another way to get in touch with you other than through US Mail with information obtained from the Hamilton County tax records. Support Solutions is vacating the 5705 Ganett Drive property and will not return after today. Their lease expires this month and I had previously informed them it would not be renewed.

"Unfortunately, it was a month too late. I previously had thoughts to write you with an apology after their exit. The house will be sold. Greyhaven Property Management Company will be the selling agent. It will require a lot of improvements but anyone you see there in the future will only be contractors.

"My father purchased the house in 1967. He passed in 2007. My mother and a brother who has not spoken since birth continued living there until 2017 when my mother had to go to assisted living. The rent income helps pay for her living. My brother Robert is in a Support Solutions house on Old Mission Road with which I have had positive feelings. As a result I thought that SS would be a good tenant and as Robert had lived in the Garrett Drive house for over 50 years they would also be a good neighbor. Alas, SS seemed to place the most difficult men at Garrett. I had feelings that l was doing something special for humanity and others like my brother. My granddaughter who is receiving her BSW May 1st kept Robert at Garrett for several months and has worked in Orange Grove houses during her college years.

"I will forever feel pain for the loss of Mr. Garrett and for the pain that I have caused you as neighbors. I am deeply sorry. Richard Key Lutz, Fla." 

Shantez Ferguson, one of the residents of the group home, is charged in the brutal slaying of 30- year-old Kevin Garrett.

Neighbors, who have been seeking the removal of the group home from the neighborhood, said they saw a moving van at the residence on Tuesday afternoon. Workers immediately began removing furniture from the house. 

A neighbor’s camera captured the murder on video. 

The home is operated by Support Solutions, which is headquartered in Memphis. 

The Northwoods Neighborhood Association voted Monday night to oppose the group home’s re-opening. 

Resident Earl Freudenberg went before the City Council on Tuesday night asking for help in making sure the group home remains closed. Click here to see his presentation. 


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