NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – We are learning new details in the homicide investigation at a popular Broadway bar.
Dallas “DJ” Barrett died from asphyxiation after investigators say he was held down by six Whiskey Row security guards in August. We have since learned that four of the six guards working that night were not properly licensed.
On Wednesday, a suspension hearing was held for one of the licensed guards facing charges in DJ Barrett’s death. Mallet Meneese didn’t show, but the department moved forward, suspending his armed guard license.
It’s been five months since 22-year-old Barrett was killed. Maneese was one of two guards involved that did have proper licensing, meaning they could have continued working at any bar across the state.
“The lack of cooperation from Whiskey Row with this investigation delayed the action that we took,” Kevin Walters with the Tennesse Department of Commerce and Insurance explained, saying they didn’t cooperate with requests for documents and statements.
A representative with Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row denied the allegations saying, “From the onset of the TDCI contacting us, we have been cooperating all along and do not understand where these comments are coming from.”
It is state law that all security guards must be properly licensed. The other licensed guard charged in the Barrett case agreed to have his license suspended, pending the outcome of the investigation. This is in addition to the suspension of Whiskey Row’s private security organization license, which means they have to hire an outside company now to provide security. The state says this is the first time they’ve ever had to suspend that type of license for an establishment.
“This is the first that we know of,” stated Walters.
He said they have since conducted a compliance check on Whiskey Row and found no issues, adding that their suspension could be lifted in the future.
Walters also told News 2 that the bar was fined in 2018 for using unlicensed security guards.
DJ’s mother Tammy Barrett tells News 2 she doesn’t think Whiskey Row’s license should ever be reinstated and that the guards should have their license permanently suspended.
Six Whiskey Row guards and a patron face reckless homicide and aggravated assault charges in DJ’s death.