NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The teenager charged in the death of Metro Police Officer John Anderson pleaded guilty to all charges in the Davidson County Criminal Court Thursday afternoon.
Jayona Brown, 18, entered a guilty plea to all four charges including vehicular homicide, aggravated assault, evading arrest and driving on a suspended license.
Officer Anderson was responding to a call around 3 a.m. on July 4, 2019, when police said Jayona Brown ran a red light and slammed her vehicle into his patrol car. Anderson’s vehicle caught fire and the officer was killed. Brown was 17 at the time of the crash. Juvenile court had transferred the charges to adult court.
While Brown’s former attorney had argued that Officer Anderson was speeding at the time of the crash, investigators said a toxicology report showed Brown had marijuana in her system.
It’s one step closer to closure for the 28-year-old officer’s family. Family members from both sides were present in the courtroom. Brown’s family did not speak and Anderson’s family declined to comment after leaving.
“They are still recovering and still in the mourning process of losing one of their most close and significant loves ones in their lifetime,” said James Smallwood, President of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police. “This is kind of a blur to them, I’m sure. But, they want to be here and make sure that they see the process through.”
July 4 marked one year since the tragedy. Smallwood says there are no winners in this case, but people need to be held accountable for their actions.
“John was somebody that wanted to stand up and serve his community. He wanted to help make the world a better place,” said Smallwood. “He was here to serve and certainly, we want to make sure that he’s remembered that way and we want to honor his memory in that manner.”
Brown faces up to six years in prison on individual charges, even more if the sentence is consecutive. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 27 at 1 p.m.