17-Year-Old Cold Case Solved In Nashville - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

17-Year-Old Cold Case Solved In Nashville

Mae Wilson Mae Wilson
Hugh Coleman Hugh Coleman
David Bryan Smith David Bryan Smith

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro police solved another cold case.

This one is 17 years old.

The suspect is a man who is already behind bars.

Ernest Wilson was shot and killed during a robbery.

The victim's widow Mae Wilson said when she got the call Friday, she couldn't believe it.

She called her husband a good man who deserved a lot better.

It was a random killing.

She said he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I said, 'You're kidding,'" she said.

Wilson wondered if she'd ever see the day police would solve the murder of her husband. They had been married for 15 years when two men robbed and killed him in the summer of 1991.

"It's been horrendous," she said. "I wondered why. You never forget. It's always there and I wondered why."

Wilson was last seen alive cleaning out his pickup truck at a carwash on Clarksville Pike.

A lot can change in 17 years. The car wash is no longer here. Police said two suspects forced Wilson into his truck and made him drive to the Ashland City Highway-Briley Parkway area.

"The guys pulled a gun to his head, told him to jump into his truck and drove down the road and shot him three times," Wilson said.

Police said the case was cold, but they got a break several months ago.

Detective Hugh Coleman reviewed the case.

"Basically resubmitted some evidence that had been collected at the time of the. It produced positive results," said Hugh Coleman of the Metro Police Department.

The evidence led police to 33-year-old David Bryan Smith. He is currently serving a 17-year prison sentence for a 2005 murder in East Nashville.

Smith was only 16 when Wilson was killed.

"It's been too little too late, but I'll take it," Wilson's son said.

Wilson said she doesn't believe in an eye for an eye. She thinks Smith should sit and think about what he has done. That's punishment enough.

"I'd ask him why, but then I'd forgive him," she said. "It's been 17 years. I can't hold a grudge against the guy.

Police said Ernest Wilson lost his life over $60.

Investigators have talked to the second man who was involved in the case. He was 19 at the time of the murder.

Police have not released his name and they have not charged him.

The case against Smith will start in juvenile court because he was only 16 at the time of the murder.

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