GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Friday, a Sumner County judge sentenced a man to the maximum sentence of four years in connection to the death of Hendersonville Police Officer Spencer Bristol.
On Friday, the defendant, Kevin Jordan spoke out for the first time since his arrest.
“Dear Judge Gay, and Mrs. Bristol, I apologize for my actions on December 30 of 2019,” Jordan said, directed to the Bristol family. “I am not a harmful or bad person. I just made a bad decision in the past, which traumatized [me] and that night I panicked, but I have learned that I must pull over no matter the situation.
The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to all charges, including felony evading, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, and speeding.
During the sentencing hearing, several witnesses took the stand, including the Hendersonville Police Officer who pursued Jordan the night of his arrest. Judge Dee Gay watched dashcam video from that night, showing Jordan behind the wheel of a car when police began their pursuit. Jordan refused to pull over, causing police to start a chase that stretch over five miles, according to witness testimony. During the hearing, Judge Gay pointed to the video cam evidence, stating Jordan’s actions led to Officer Bristol’s death.
“He was the leader, he was controlling the strings, he was controlling the actions, he was driving the car,” said Judge Gay during his final statements. “Viewing that video today does anybody doubt by the grace of God nobody was killed prior to the stop?”
Before the judge handed down his sentence, testimony was heard from Officer Bristol’s wife, Lauren, as she spoke with emotion and tears in her eyes. Mrs. Bristol looked directly at the defendant, telling him, she forgives him for that night.
“Kevin, undoubtedly made some huge mistakes and those mistakes changed everything about my life, and my daughter’s life, but when I look at Kevin I don’t see a violent person or a person without a soul,” said Mrs. Bristol.
At one point Mrs. Bristol spoke about Jordan’s mother, who was sitting in court Friday, and how she watched as she reached for her son as he plead guilty in this case.
In an equally emotional testimony, Officer Bristol’s father took the stand. The grieving father agreed with his daughter in law, but wanted harsher punishment for the defendant.
“Innocent bystanders, and police officers, and first responders are all at risk when someone runs. If these individuals, if Mr. Jordan had stopped when they attempted to make a stop at most he would have received some days in jail, and now we are looking at a loss of life,” explained Dan Bristol.
Jordan’s mother fought back tears in the courtroom, at one point having to leave the room for a moment during Mrs. Bristol’s testimony. A manager of Jordan’s took the stand on his behalf. She pleaded for a lesser sentence, describing him as smart and a leader.
“There is not a day that we work together where we don’t talk about this situation, and I ask him if there is anything you could have done differently what would it be and he said stop at the gas station,” said Genie Williams, a manager of Jordan’s.
Jordan was sentenced to the maximum penalty of four years in jail.