NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Legal wrangling could now keep the public from seeing the Nashville shooter's writings.
This comes after the heated debate continues over whether a judge will allow the shooter's writings to be released after Metro Police denied the request.
The judge ruled that Covenant parents, the school and the church are allowed to express why they don't want the writings released. But those who are suing Metro for the writings are pushing back and don't believe the parents should be allowed to intervene.
There was a turn of events at the latest court appearance Thursday on the documents related to the Covenant shooter, Audrey Hale.
Well-known attorney David Raybin, who's now representing the shooter's parents, will now transfer ownership of the shooter's writings to the Covenant children.
Deborah Fisher with The Tennessee Coalition on Open Government believes the parents may use this as an argument for not releasing the writings since they would now own them.
While Metro Police has custody of the writings, Raybin said the shooter's parents own the home and vehicle the writings were seized in.
I would assume that they’re going to say something along the lines of if we own it, then that cannot become public. We have a right to prevent that from becoming public,” said Fisher.
Fisher, along with the attorney for The Tennessee Firearms Association, believe since Metro Police collected evidence, including the journals, they are subject to the Tennessee Public Records Act.
“Typically, when a police department seizes evidence, it’s always owned by, possessed by documents generated from third parties and so transferring that ownership from a to b shouldn’t make a different in an open records case,” says John Harris, the attorney for the TN Firearms Association.
Brent Leatherwood is a Covenant parent of three.
“We as Covenant parents and families are resolute in our commitment to one, protect our children and families including those who were killed and all those who survived. Two, to protect our beloved school moving forward, and three, do our utmost to shield any future communities from having to endure this nightmare,” said Leatherwood.
Leatherwood said the parents and families are asking their attorneys to leave no stone unturned as they pursue their goal of keeping these writings out of the public domain.
There is no set date for the hearing on whether or not these writings will be released, as those suing have appealed the judge’s decision to allow the Covenant parents to intervene.