Security Guard Shooting Trial Ends In Mistrial - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

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Security Guard Shooting Trial Ends In Mistrial

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Jeremy Holmes Jeremy Holmes
Adam Villegas Adam Villegas

The case of security guard Jeremy Holmes was the focus of a NewsChannel 5 investigation into security guard training. His weeklong murder trial ended, and the jury announced it could not reach a verdict.

Investigative reporter Ben Hall said there are more questions than answers.

It happened outside a bar in the Nippers Corner parking lot. Security guard Holmes shot 34-year-old Adam Villegas in the side of the neck as he was driving his car.

The task for the jury was to decide whether Holmes feared for his life and acted in self defense -- or whether it was murder.

"The vehicle is turning and in a matter of seconds you have to react and he did and it wasn't a crime," said defense attorney Rich McGee.

McGee argued that because Villegas had bumped Holmes with his car and was drunk that Holmes had no choice but to shoot.

"What we have here is not self defense," said prosecutor Elizabeth Foy.

Prosecutors said Holmes was standing beside Villegas and was not in the path of the vehicle.

"When Adam Villegas is driving away he's removing himself from the scene and Jeremy Holmes fires a shot and murders him," said Foy.

In the end, the jury could not decide. After deliberating Thursday afternoon and part of Friday morning, jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked.

"I don't want this to happen to anybody else's son, daughter husband or anybody," said mother Karen Villegas.

In May, NewsChannel 5 Investigates interviewed Adam Villegas' mom. She said her son's death points to the need for more training for security guards and more state oversight.

"To be an armed security guard and then have as little training as you have to have is ridiculous," said Villegas.

Currently, armed guards can get a license after 16 hours or two full days of training. There's no shoot don't shoot training required like you see in the Metro police department.

Jurors could not decide what to do with Jeremy Holmes.

"It's a terrible tragedy. This family has lost their son. This family over here is begging that their son is not going to have an M written on his forehead for the rest of his life," said McGee.

Laws dealing with security guard training have not changed much since 1987. Some groups promise to push the legislature to require more training in the upcoming session.

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