MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Interstate 24 allows for easy access between Nashville and Montgomery County, making it one of the fastest growing spots in Middle Tennessee. But it’s also means easy access between cities for those committing crimes, some even by juveniles.
“We do have young people that are being involved in attempted murders, murders, so it is a fact of life right now that is occurring amongst our youth,” 19th Judicial District Attorney Robert Nash said.
Nash has been in Middle Tennessee for the past 40 years. He said current juvenile crime is unlike anything he’s seen before, including some defendants as young as 12 and 13 years old.
“There are young people that have access to guns, and they are using them,” Nash said. “It is disturbing; it’s more violent nature amongst young people today that I think we’ve seen in the recent past.”
Most commonly, Nash said he’s seeing youth involved with auto-related crimes and at times, they’re coming from Davidson County.
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“What we’ve seen is these bands of people, whether some of them are young people, juveniles, some of them not. They are just going to subdivisions and hitting as many cars as they can, checking for unlocked doors, taking whatever they can,” Nash said. “Many reports are firearms are being taken and then firearms on the street in the hands of juveniles. Never a good idea.”
Those guns can later be used down the line in crimes like carjackings, drug-related offences aggravated assaults.
“I know we look at young people as really not knowing what they’re doing. I’ve never found that to be the case,” Nash added.
Although Nash admitted he doesn’t have all the answers, one statement he stands by: if you commit an adult crime in his district, there are adult consequences.
“If we don’t hold people accountable, normally, that just leads to more of the behavior. And, you know, when people have been hurt, killed, we’re supposed to stand up for them, and hold people accountable. So that’s my position, and that’s what I tried to do,” Nash said.
In an ideal world, Nash said people should be able to leave their homes and cars unlocked but went on to say those are not the present times. He also recommended property owners be particularly careful with their weapons and securing them, especially overnight.
News 2 looks at the community consequences of the growing number of kids committing crimes and new ideas about solutions with our special reports, Juvenile Crime.