NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A popular Broadway honky-tonk is facing legal issues stemming from a homicide investigation on the property last year.

Dallas “DJ” Barrett was found unresponsive on the top floor of Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, just before 11:00 p.m. on August 16 following an incident with security. The incident was caught on video at the Broadway honky-tonk.

22-year-old Dallas “DJ” Barrett

Multiple people were seen holding Barrett down. Witnesses said his last words were, “I can’t breathe.”

The Davidson County Grand Jury indicted the following men, which includes six employees and one non-employee:

  • Dylan Thomas Larocca, 33, of Mt. Juliet;
  • John D. Eustace, 26, of Hermitage;
  • Mark Ryan Watkins, 24, last known address DeBary, Florida;
  • Mallet Daquan Meneese, 30, of Hermitage;
  • Jaelen Alexander Maxwell, 23, of Murfreesboro; and
  • Tarrell K. Gray, 25, of Nashville.
  • Steven John Simon, 44, of Hermitage (non-employee)

Those men face reckless homicide and aggravated assault charges in the homicide investigation.

Newly released court documents are shedding some light on the lack of qualifications for some of those security guards.

Of the six guards facing charges from the night of Barrett’s death, only two — Dylan Larocca and Mallet Meneese — were properly licensed by the Detection Services Licensing Program in Tennessee, according to the court documents. Therefore, the other four were unlawfully working as security guards the night of Barrett’s death.

Whiskey Row was cited for having five total unlicensed security guards on the night of the incident, along with “failure to maintain adequate security,” last month. The establishment was fined $9,000 by the Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

In addition, the property is now having its security organization registration suspended by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.

On Friday, the attorneys for Tammy Barrett, DJ Barrett’s mother, released a statement after the findings were released. It reads, in part:

It is difficult to fathom that Dierks Bentley and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
Nashville cared so little for the safety of their patrons that four of the six security guards who
murdered Tammy Barrett’s son were not even properly licensed. Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey
Row, LLC, is a practiced bad actor, and the above information strongly buttresses this
conclusion. Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row certainly contributed to the death of Dallas Jordan
Barrett on August 16, 2021.

While the decisive actions taken by the Department of Commerce and Insurance
certainly will do nothing to alleviate the suffering, pain, and grief experienced by Ms. Tammy
Barrett following the murder of her son, it is our sincere hope that the Department’s action will
make Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row Nashville a safer environment for all patrons in the

Prepared by counsel Sarah Cripps and Jon Slager