NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The attorney for the 17-year-old girl accused of crashing into and killing a Metro Nashville police officer says the teen didn’t mean to hurt anyone.
“After the crash, her first concern was for the officer and her passenger,” said attorney Michie Gibson. Gibson visited his client twice inside juvenile detention on Friday.
According to Gibson, Jayona Brown sneaked out of her house late Wednesday night into Thursday morning. She took her aunt’s 2016 Ford Fusion and picked up a friend, 18-year-old Antona Eswa.
“They’re good friends. She was taking her home when the accident happened,” said Gibson.
Metro Police say Brown was driving with the high beams on in East Nashville. A DUI officer tried to pull her over but Brown took off. The officer didn’t pursue.
“So she thought the chase was over,” said Gibson. “She had actually planned to pull over at Shoney’s, as my understanding, and she ran a flashing light.”
According to Metro Police, Brown ran the flashing red light at Woodland and Interstate Drive and smashed into Officer John Anderson’s cruiser.
Officer Anderson’s police car caught fire and he died at the scene. He leaves behind a toddler, step-son and a girlfriend.
“Jayona’s mother is devastated,” said Gibson. “Her mother is concerned for the officer’s family and his 18-month-old child, his son.“
Brown’s passenger was rushed to Skyline hospital where she is in critical condition.
Gibson has represented Brown in juvenile court in the past but he couldn’t elaborate on the charges because they are private under state law.
“Her charges were so minor in the past, and I’ve represented so many people, I had to go back in my file to remember what the charges were even about,” Gibson told News 2.
He also believes his client should be convicted of negligence but not vehicular homicide.
“I’ve done personal injury cases before and negligence can result in consequences where people get hurt and sometimes they get tragically, what happened here, killed. It’s still negligence. You usually don’t go to jail for running a stop sign,” said Gibson.
Brown is due in court Monday for a status hearing. At that time, a date will be set for her detention hearing.
The state wants to try Brown has an adult but a transfer hearing will have to take place at a later date.