Officer shooting suspects' case bound to grand jury
July 14, 2009 05:29 PM CDT
Sgt. Mark Chesnut
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A grand jury will review the case against the two men charged with last month's shooting that critically injured a veteran Metro police sergeant.
Joseph Jackson, a 29-year-old prison escapee from Mississippi, and his accomplice, 25-year-old Courtney Logan, are charged with attempted murder in the June 25 shooting of Sgt. Mark Chesnut.
Their case was bound over to a grand jury Tuesday morning.
Sgt. Chesnut, a 22-year veteran of the Metro Police Department, pulled over the men on Interstate 40 in Bellevue just hours after police said Logan aided Jackson's escape from a Mississippi correctional facility.
At that time, however, Chesnut had no idea the men were fugitives from the law.
At least a dozen Metro police officers as well as Chief Ronal Serpas attended Tuesday's hearing and listened as Detective Norris Tarkington recalled the events of the day.
According to Tarkington, Jackson fired the gun six times. Five bullets struck Chesnut.
He testified Jackson told him he could not justify why he shot the officer.
"He stated that he got back out a second time and walked to Sgt. Chesnut and on the same passenger side and he fired the gun at him. I asked him how many times he fired and he said, 'I don't know. I just kept pulling the trigger.' I asked him, ‘Why did you walk up there the first time?' He said he wanted to see if he was alone," the detective recalled.
Tarkington said Chesnut's weapon was still in the holster and no bullets had been fired.
"I think Sgt. Chesnut did what he was trained to do and most importantly, he trained himself to survive and that's what's critical, he was going to survive," Chief Ronal Serpas said.
The 44-year-old Chesnut has undergone several surgeries since the shooting and while his condition is improving, faces a long road to recovery.
He was released from the hospital Friday and is now in rehab, according to hospital officials.
Sgt. Robert Weaver, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said the FOP is committed to making sure he is taken care of now and in the future.
"There's always the initial rush of support, our job is to make sure that support is maintained through the long recovery process he and his family will have," Weaver said.
There is no word on whether sergeant Chesnut will return to work after he recovers.
Jackson and Logan remain in the Metro jail on more than $3 million bond each.