North Nashville murder remains unsolved nearly 3 years after ‘deliberate and brutal’ act

Unsolved Tennessee

Fear of retaliation. One roadblock in the unsolved murder of James Perry.

“I was screwed up. My heart was broken,” said Lisa Keeton.

Keeton was the big sister of James Perry and affectionately called him ‘Pac-Man’.

September 23, 2017, a day she will never forget after waking up to a phone call about her younger brother. “At 5 a.m. my phone rang; it was a family member, and my heart just dropped.” 

Whoever done it, he’s going to have to answer, if he doesn’t answer to justice, he’s going to answer to God.

Lisa Keeton, James Perry’s sister

Perry was found on the street shot several times. He was killed coming out of a home on 12th Avenue North, between Buchanan and Clay streets in Nashville.

Metro police detective, Lindsay Smith, said his murderer was waiting for him.

“There was no kind of robbery…This was a very deliberate and brutal act,” Smith told News 2 in 2018. 

The detective also said there’s a fear in the neighborhood and people are afraid to talk about the attack. If they do, the threat of retaliation looms large. Smith said she believed just one witness could solve the case. “I want someone to look into their conscience and say, ‘This just as easily could have happened to someone in my family.'”

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Lisa Keeton – 2018

Keeton said she has tried to come to terms with the loss but wants the killer caught. “Whoever done it, he’s going to have to answer, if he doesn’t answer to justice, he going to answer to God.” Keeton said. 

While it has now been almost three years since Perry was murdered, Keeton said she’ll keep fighting for justice.

“Do the right thing, something has got to stop,” Keeton said. “It’s too much going on, too many killings, somebody has to start speaking up.”  

If you have any information on Perry’s murder, please call detective Lindsay Smith at 615-862-7889 or Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.

News 2 is digging deeper into Tennessee’s most notorious unsolved cases.

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