Tennessee court adopts tougher bail rules
following assault case
Send a link to a friend
[June 21, 2014]
By Tim Ghianni
NASHVILLE Tenn. (Reuters) - A Tennessee
criminal court adopted tougher bail rules for domestic violence suspects
on Friday, following a case in which police say a man jailed for
assaulting his girlfriend was released early and attacked her again the
The court imposed the new rules after Davidson County General
Sessions Judge Casey Moreland released a prominent local contractor
accused of domestic assault after just three hours, well short of a
normal 12-hour hold period, generating a storm of criticism.
As a result, judges in the Nashville area determined that the
12-hour "cooling-off period" typically imposed on domestic violence
suspects can only be shortened under strict conditions.
A domestic violence judge must decide whether to grant early release
after hearing from the prosecutor, suspect and victim, Presiding
Judge Bill Higgins said.
In the Moreland case, the suspect, David Chase, was accused of
attacking his girlfriend on June 8, and assaulting her again soon
after he got out of jail, police said.
He is charged with assault and is currently under house arrest,
wearing an electronic ankle bracelet to track his movements,
according to media reports. An attorney for Chase was not available
Moreland secured Chase's release after he got a phone call from
Chase's attorney, who Moreland publicly admitted is a personal
friend. His decision was blasted by city leaders, including
Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson, who called the case "a
The head of a victim's advocacy agency said the judges' decision to
tighten bail conditions for domestic assault suspects is a "step in
the right direction."
[to top of second column]
"You have a very special dynamic there," said Cathy Gurley,
executive director of You Have the Power. "I feel it needs to be
heard by judges who are trained in this area.”
Moreland's attorney, Bob DeLaney, has said that Moreland regrets the
outcome of the case.
(Reporting by Tim Ghianni; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Bill
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.