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Audio Tapes Reveal Police Investigation Into McNair Murder


By Ben Hall
Investigative Reporter

He is the only person convicted in connection with the murder of Steve McNair. A federal judge sentenced Adrian Gilliam to two and a half years in prison for illegally owning a handgun and selling it to Sahel Kazemi. 

Police said she used the gun to kill Steve McNair, then herself. 

One year after the murder, we hear from Adrian Gilliam through audio tapes of the police interrogation. 

Just one day after Steve McNair and Sahel Kazemi were found shot to death, police traced the gun back to Adrian Gilliam. 

"I came into possession of it around the time my home got broken into," Adrian Gilliam told Metro detectives on July 5, 2009. 

Detectives went to Gilliam's home in La Vergne as the city was still in shock. Gilliam said he bought the gun two years ago for protection and sold it to a girl he didn't know to make some quick money. 

"Who'd you sell it to?" asked the detective. 

"I sold it some young lady," responded Gilliam. 

"What was her name?" asked the detective. 

"I don't even know her name," answered Gilliam. 

Detectives later realized that was not true when they discovered nearly 200 phone calls and text messages between Gilliam and Kazemi in the weeks before July 4, 2009.  

They interviewed Gilliam weeks later and asked him why he lied. 

"My fiancee was sitting right there, and I didn't want to, you now, go and I wanted to tell you honestly but she was right there, so I had to say something, you know what I'm saying," responded Gilliam. 

Gilliam said he first met Kazemi outside a restaurant on 2nd Avenue and even admitted to visiting her apartment twice. 

"We didn't ever have a relationship," said Gilliam. "We texted one another back and forth and stuff like that, but as far as having a relationship and dating one another that was never so." 

Gilliam said the gun was loaded when he sold it to her, and he even briefly explained how to use it. Detectives pressed him on whether he knew what Kazemi would do with the gun. 

"She had her own life," responded Gilliam. "I didn't know. I was just as shocked as the rest of the world. I didn't even know McNair lived in Nashville." 

They also questioned Gilliam about why he called Kazemi at 12:02 a.m., just hours before the murder. 

"I asked her if she would come to Antioch," said Gilliam. 

"Did she? What did she say?" asked the detective. 

"She said, 'No I can't. I'm downtown on 2nd Avenue,'" responded Gilliam. 

Police determined that Gilliam's cell phone made the call from Antioch and was not near McNair's downtown condo.   

In the end, police said a convicted felon, who shouldn't have owned a gun, sold it to a woman who used it in one of the city's biggest murders. 

"Man, this is the worst nightmare for me, man. I am serious. I had been flying straight. I would never in my life be back in front of you guys," said Gilliam. 


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