Police Not Warned Of Escaped Mental Patient's Violent History
By Ben Hall Investigative Reporter
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The Tennessee Department of Mental Health claims the halfway house responsible for murderer Kenneth Mallady properly notified local authorities after Mallady walked away from the facility in late July.
But NewsChannel 5 Investigates has obtained the phone call from the head of the facility to the Metro Police Department.
At no time does he tell police about Mallady's violent history.
Mallady nearly decapitated his mother and gouged out the eyes of his stepfather in 2003.
He was found not guilty by reason of insanity for murder and attempted murder.
Mallady's sister, Regina Warren, is still terrified of her bother.
"I wouldn't want a stranger to come in contact with him," Warren said. "He needed to be off the streets."
She fought the state's plan to let Mallady out of a secure mental hospital and put him in a halfway house in Antioch.
"I was against it from day one," Warren said.
Her worst fears came true when Mallady walked away from the Anne's Care Home and was missing for two weeks.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates has obtained the call the head of the home, Kelvin Talley, made to the police department's non-emergency line just before 10 p.m., hours after Mallady went missing.
"I operate a group home. One of my clients has been gone for several hours and we've been looking for him and can't locate him," Talley told a police operator.
He gives police a brief description of Mallady and said people in the home last saw Mallady at, "around 5:30 or a quarter of 6:00."
Talley gave police no information about Mallady's violent past.
Metro police are concerned they were never told about an admitted murderer living in a South Nashville home.
"It seems to me it would be logical from a public safety perspective for the police department to have known who this man was," said Don Aaron of the Metro-Nashville Police Department.
Incredibly, at the time Talley reported his client missing, Metro police already had Mallady in custody.
He was at a hospital after being arrested for shoplifting and assault at an Antioch market. Just after 10 p.m., a police sergeant called Talley.
"She calls Talley and says we know where he is. He's at Southern Hills Hospital. What Mr. Talley did with the information, I don't know," Aaron said.
One thing he didn't do was go to the hospital.
Hours later, Mallady was released from custody and back on the streets.
In an e-mail obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates, Talley appeared to blame police saying, they "never notified anyone Mallady was released from jail."
"Perhaps the Mental Health Department doesn't know how the police department operates," asserted Aaron.
He said police had no reason to hold Mallady any longer. It would have been different if they had known about Mallady's past.
The Department of Mental Health claims the halfway house properly notified all community personnel, including police. Regina Warren disagrees.
"That's not acceptable to me," Warren said after NewsChannel 5 Investigates told her about the phone call.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked, "How confident are you this won't happen again?"
"Not at all," Warren answered.
The department cited Anne's Care Home for not alerting the state that Mallady was missing.
Warren said that's not good enough.
"I want an acknowledgement that a mistake was made, and I want some assurance that this will never happen again to another patient or another family," Warren said.
She said she wasn't told her brother had escaped for more than a week.
Mallady is now back in a secure mental facility.
When police entered Mallady's name into the crime database there wasn't any record of his history because he was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Mallady was finally captured by a park ranger in Marshall County after nearly two weeks on the run.
Warren said she feels lucky he didn't hurt anyone, and he didn't come back to harm someone in her family.