Rutherford Co. Sheriff's Detective Talks About Return To Work
by Nick Beres & Chris Cannon
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. - Former Rutherford County Sheriff's Detective Ron Killings is back on the job. This comes six months after a jury found him not guilty in the death of an 11-year-old girl.
NewsChannel 5 was the only crew there when Killings arrived for work Wednesday morning. We asked Killings what it was like to return to the sheriff's department for the first time in two years.
"I can't put it into words," said Killings. "I want to get back in the swing of things. To get back to work."
Sheriff Truman Jones made good on his promise to hire Killings back.
"I think it's the right thing to do," said Jones.
In February, a jury found Killings not guilty of reckless homicide in the 2008 death of 11-year-old Lakeisha White in Murfreesboro. Killings hit the little girl with his car on Bradyville Pike while responding to a call.
Killings resigned, but Sheriff Jones never waivered in his support.
"If you have a top employee who is loyal you don't turn your back on them," Jones said.
Killings said he's thankful the sheriff is giving him another chance.
"It meant a great deal to have him standing behind me," said Killings.
The rehiring does not come without controversy. Sheriff Jones will leave office at the end of the month when Sheriff-Elect Robert Arnold takes over the department. During his campaign Arnold said he would not bring Killings back.
"Correct. I don't see him being part of our administration," said Arnold.
Arnold said many voters objected to the way investigators handled the Lakeisha White case and they elected him to bring a fresh face to the sheriff's department. He said Jones hiring Killings does not fit that plan.
"The way I look at it he (Jones) is creating a mess I have to deal with," said Arnold.
Arnold said he may fire Killings three weeks from now. But, first he will sit down and talk with him. Killings hopes he keeps the job.
"I'll come back and put 100 percent into it and help the community like I've been doing," said Killings.
The fact Killings is once again a sheriff's detective does not sit well with many of Lakeisha White's family members.
"I want to know why is he still being able to do everything that he's doing," asked Lakeisha's aunt Kim Coleman.
She said Killings might be on the job now, but does not think he will be at the sheriff's department very long.
"He's not going to be there after September 1st, we do know that for a fact. It was a waste of time giving him his job back trying to spite someone," Coleman said.
Rutherford County sheriff-elect Robert Arnold has made it clear in the past he does not want Killings to be part of his department when he takes office.
"He promised that Killings would not get his job back," according to Coleman.
Lakeisha's aunt so believed Sheriff Truman Jones had to leave office, she actually campaigned for Arnold to try and help him get elected. She remembered back to election day last week.
"Wooo, I was so happy. I didn't now if I wanted to jump for joy, cry or just scream. I was so happy," Coleman explained.
Coleman said she will now wait to see what happens come September 1st.