Suspect Arrested For Attack On Community Leader - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Suspect Arrested For Attack On Community Leader

Kenneth John Gipson Kenneth John Gipson
Francis Guess Francis Guess

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro police arrested a Nashville man suspected of attacking community leader Francis Guess outside his Bordeaux home.

Kenneth John Gipson, 44, was taken into custody Wednesday night while riding his bike at the intersection of Clay Street and Clarksville Pike.

"It's not only a relief to me, but a relief to my neighborhood," Guess said Thursday.

Guess is executive vice president of the Danner Company, a Nashville-based investment and management firm.

Guess has served on numerous boards and commissions including the board of trustees for the American Institute for Managing Diversity; the Tennessee Human Rights Commission; the board of trustees for the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

The work of Chris Steele, a Metro detective, and a citizen's tip led police to identify Gipson as a potential suspect. Guess picked Gipson out of a photo lineup.

Police said Gipson hit the 61-year-old man on the head with a lawnmower blade and robbed him on Oct. 8.

Gipson's criminal background includes charges for 97 offenses between 1987 and Wednesday night.

"You serve your time and you're released.  That's how the system is set up," said Rosemary Sexton, assistant district attorney in Nashville.

Sexton deals with habitual criminals such as Gipson on a regular basis and understands the challenge of keeping such criminals off the street.

"Often times with misdemeanors, you're not going to stay in jail for more than 10 days," Sexton said.

Guess suffered head injuries, a broken wrist and a heart attack. He was treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

"I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," Guess said.

Once a suspect is released from jail or prison, there is nothing stopping them from committing additional crimes.

"I'm glad he's off the street.  I don't know if I will sleep better at night, but I hope my neighbors do," Guess said.

Gipson is being held in lieu of $75,000 bond on a charge of especially aggravated robbery.

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