Crime victim calls out Metro Criminal Justice System as inadequate


WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A career criminal accused of breaking into 20 cars and homes in Portland, two weeks ago, is also a suspect in violent crimes in Metro and multiple burglaries in Wilson County and beyond.

One of Carl Hesson’s alleged victims says enough is enough and is calling out the criminal justice system to do more to protect citizens.

Hollie Barela is one of the victims. Lebanon police say Hesson, 39, went through her car. Barela claims he stole thousands of dollars’ worth of plumbing equipment from her business.

“He’s a nightmare,” the mother and wife says.

The Lebanon woman and her husband hired Hesson in early September to work at their family’s small plumbing business. She says after only a few days they knew he was stealing from them.

Barela says, “He should be locked up for good. He is an adult and should be held accountable for his actions.”

Barela says Hesson stole from contractors and clients, and in one case, her brother-in-law had to hold him for the authorities.

“He damaged our truck, our equipment. He broke into our shop,” she says.

Barela says during his alleged burglary spree in her neighborhood, Hesson left his wallet behind for detectives to find.

Now the business owner is calling out the criminal justice system, especially in Nashville.

Barela claims neither she nor dozens of other people would be victims if Hesson had been kept in jail in Metro.

Barela says, “I say it is unacceptable. I say if Davidson County would have gotten him, there wouldn’t have been 40 more victims in Portland or Rutherford County, or us again.”

News 2 has learned that in August and September, Metro police arrested Hesson multiple times for violent crimes that include domestic violence on his wife where she was brutally beaten.

Arrest affidavits indicate he threatened to “kill her and blow her head off.”

He reportedly made that call to her from the Davidson County Jail while he was under arrest for violent crimes.

Hesson was also arrested for assault on a Metro police officer. Arrest documents indicate he kneed the officer in the groin while being arrested.

And Hesson was also arrested and charged with strangling his sister and punching her in the face after he claimed she took his pills.

After close to a dozen charges in Metro alone, Hesson made bonds, totaling close to a quarter-million dollars.

Each time he was set free and records show he re-offended while free on bond awaiting new court proceedings.

Finally, on October 3, two months after his Mid-State crime spree allegedly began in Metro and Wilson County, it all came to an end.

That’s the night that dozens of Portland residents began calling 911 complaining of an intruder in their homes, their sheds, their cars. Portland police say the 39-year-old went on an all-night crime spree stealing and drugging.

Police found the suspect at the crime scene. Once he sobered up, Portland detectives say he was cordial and apologetic.

Detectives say he was so high on Xanax, he didn’t remember most of what he had done.

Barela says she has spent many hours communicating with the Metro Judicial System and various law enforcement agencies about Barela.

“Metro says it is the DA. The DA says it is the commissioner who gives them a bond. So, everyone is blaming everyone. I absolutely agree that Metro dropped the ball on this big time.”

When shown the bloody picture of Hesson’s wife, Barela takes a breath and grows sad.

“It is sad. It is sad. Metro needs to step up. We are dropping the ball in our city, in our community. This should be a state issue.”

Hesson is currently in the Sumner County jail on Portland’s multitude of charges. His bond is $65,000.

News 2 checked with the Davidson County DA’s office.

Officials indicated they were going to revoke Hesson’s bond, but he never made it to court because he was allegedly committing crimes across Sumner County.

In a statement, Director of Communications, Steve Hayslip says, “The Nashville District Attorney’s office filed a motion to have Mr. Hesson’s bond revoked due to the additional charges. However, Mr. Hesson failed to appear in court on October 4th, 2019.”

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