‘We knew who did it’: Shelbyville couple relieved after man indicted in connection with son’s murder

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SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Samuel Earl Rich has been indicted and charged in connection with two shootings in Middle Tennessee — one of them deadly.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says on Aug. 13, agents began investigating after a woman was shot in Shelbyville. Four days later, Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk requested that the TBI merge their investigation, with help from Metro police, with a shooting that killed 22-year-old James William Warner of Shelbyville.

Warner’s parents spoke with News 2 Thursday night and say they’re relieved Rich has been formally indicted in their son’s case.

“We knew who did it. It was tough waiting it out,” James and Christy Warner said. “It does finally start to start our healing process.”

Warner’s parents say Rich and their son grew up together. They attended the same schools and church and allege Rich had previously threatened their family.

“We’re Christian people with a lot of faith, and we see the best in everyone. We never thought he would do it,” James said.

On Wednesday, a Davidson County grand jury returned indictments charging Rich with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of especially aggravated robbery, one count of felon in possession of a weapon and one count of theft in relation to Warner’s death.

Earlier this week, a Bedford County Grand Jury also returned indictments charging Rich with seven criminal counts related to the Shelbyville shooting case, including attempted first-degree murder.

On Thursday, authorities transferred Rich from the Bedford County Jail to Davidson County and served him with the additional charges. He is currently in custody without bond.

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“It’s just a horrible situation that never should’ve happened. We wish we could bring Will back, but we can’t. So the conviction is the next best thing,” Christy said.

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