New Concerns Surround Domestic Violence Case -- John Dunn
Updated: Wednesday, June 18 2014, 10:24 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It is a domestic violence case that Metro's police chief calls a fiasco. Now one Metro Council member says the Nashville judge at the center of the case may need to resign.
David Chase is accused of assaulting the same women twice in the same day. There are implications of good ole boy politics in the case.
David Chase was brought to the Metro Jail after his first arrest for domestic assault. What happened next has the police chief accusing Judge Casey Moreland of misconduct.
The alleged attacks inside an Elliston Place apartment complex are just the beginning of what has become a potential scandal in the Metro Courthouse. The suspect, David Chase, bonded out of jail in just a few hours after Judge Casey Moreland received a phone call from Chase's attorney Bryan Lewis. It wasn't long before Chase was arrested again. He was charged with another assault on the same woman.
Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson is not mincing words in new memo. He says, "I certainly resent Judge Moreland's implication...that this is just good ole boys doing what good ole boys do and that I should understand. For the record, I don't understand."
Pictures from facebook seem to reveal a close friendship between Judge Moreland and Chase's attorney Bryan Lewis. Last year they vacationed in Costa Rica.
"I think the judge should be accountable. If you actually don't follow a process then you should explain why," says Metro Council member At-Large Megan Barry.
Barry says the 12-hour cooling off period, that is often used in domestic violence arrests, should have been followed in this case. She says Judge Moreland put the life of the victim at risk. "He needs to account for his actions, and if he can't account for his action, he should resign," says Barry.
A task force spent two years studying domestic violence in Nashville and found that judges have a habit of waiving the 12 hour cooling off period. In one month 40% of the suspects were let out early. Diane Lance chaired that task force and says recommendations to enforce it should be followed. "It is unfortunate that the changes that we would like to see made in this area had not protected that victim in this incident," says Diane Lance.
Judge Moreland did not return our phone calls on Wednesday. We are told Nashville judges may be changing the current policy, and State Rep. Gary Odom says it may be time to make the cooling off period a mandatory requirement.
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