Lawrenceburg Now

Thursday, July 8, 2010

District Attorney Alleges Judge Wrongfully Expunged Records

Lawsuits filed in two  Maury County cases

   Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General for the 22nd Judicial District that includes Lawrence County, announced Wednesday that his office has filed lawsuits in two separate Maury County cases, alleging that the presiding judge wrongfully expunged the records of the defendants.

   Bottoms briefly explained both cases in the statement he issued Wednesday. He indicated he is seeking to have the defendants’ criminal records reinstated due to the fact that they were “improperly expunged.”

   The statement states, “In this case, State of Tennessee vs. Rodney T. Gillespie, it is alleged that the defendant pled guilty to three cocaine charges in 1992, 1993, and 1995. He served time in the Maury County Jail and the Tennessee Department of Correction. In 2006, it is alleged that Judge Jim T. Hamilton wrongfully expunged Gillespie’s record. In 2010, Gillespie applied for and obtained a gun-carry permit. The lawsuits were filed to correct and reinstate the record of Mr. Gillespie and to revoked the gun-carry permit.”

   In regards to the second case, the State of Tennessee vs. Phillip Ray Williams, Bottoms explains, “The defendant pled guilty to four cases on October 8, 1996. These cases included guilty pleas for vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, evading arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia. In November 2007, Judge Jim T. Hamilton expunged these convictions alleging these cases had been dismissed. In fact, these charges had not been dismissed.”

   As far as proceeding with the legal action, Bottoms said, “A hearing will be scheduled in Circuit Court at some time in the future to resolve these issues.


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