Police chief sends scathing letter to judge in assault case - WKRN News 2

Nashville police chief sends scathing letter to judge in domestic assault case

Posted: Updated: Jun 19, 2014 03:36 AM
Metro Nashville Police Chief Steven Anderson Metro Nashville Police Chief Steven Anderson
General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland
David Chase was arrested for domestic violence twice last week. David Chase was arrested for domestic violence twice last week.
Bryan Lewis and Judge Moreland have been long-time friends and vacation together. (Courtesy: Facebook) Bryan Lewis and Judge Moreland have been long-time friends and vacation together. (Courtesy: Facebook)

Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson sent a scathing letter to the presiding judge of General Sessions Court regarding a recent high-profile domestic assault case.

News 2 obtained the letter to Judge Bill Higgins in which Chief Anderson takes aim at Judge Casey Moreland and demands change after the judge’s handling of the case involving a Nashville contractor who allegedly beat his girlfriend twice.

David Chase, who is the contractor behind a massive project that would bring a Virgin hotel to Nashville, was taken into custody June 8 and charged with domestic assault.

Domestic assault suspects are typically held in jail for a 12-hour “cooling off” period to ensure the safety of the victim.

However, in this case, Judge Moreland reportedly got involved and called the magistrate, who then crossed out the 12-hour hold in a document and instead wrote in the margin “not domestic relationship per Judge Moreland.”

The waiving of the 12-hour hold was done at the request of Chase's attorney, Bryan Lewis.

Chase was released after spending less than three hours in police custody.  He reportedly returned to his home where he assaulted his girlfriend a second time.

The woman, who was not aware that Chase was coming back early, managed to escape and call 911.

Metro police arrested Chase on new felony charges the following day.

Again, the magistrate had the option of keeping him in jail for 12 hours, but the option was waived and Chase was released in less than three.

Chief Anderson’s 7-page letter, delivered Monday, calls on Judge Higgins to enforce measures that assure “such misconduct” does not happen again.

The letter also explains that Judge Moreland called Chief Anderson regarding the matter. In reference to their conversation, Chief Anderson stated he resents Judge Moreland’s “implication, during this conversation, that this is just good ole boys doing what good ole boys do” and that he should understand.

Anderson notes, “For the record, I don’t understand.”

The chief also stated that the police department is working to pull court records for all charges that call for a 12-hour hold in order to determine how many cases in which suspects have been allowed to be released early.

When contacted, Judge Moreland's office said he had "no comment" on the letter.

Mayor Karl Dean commented on the case Wednesday, saying he supports Chief Anderson.

“Obviously, he is concerned about what happened. He wrote a strong letter and I think I understand why he wrote that letter. My concern is that if we have a rule, like this 12-hour rule, that we follow that rule,” Mayor Dean explained.

A week before Chase was handed the assault charge, prosecutors declined to move ahead with a DUI charge against him.

Court records show Bryan Lewis was Chase’s attorney, while Moreland is listed as the judge. News 2 learned Lewis and Judge Moreland have actually been long-time friends, even before Moreland was on the bench, and have even vacationed together.

When Lewis was contacted, he told News 2 he is no longer representing Chase and had no further comment on the matter.

Richard McGee and Lisa Naylor have been appointed his new attorneys.

Click here to read the full letter.

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