Jerome Sydney Barrett was indicted for the 1975 murder of Marcia Trimble. Friday morning's indictment is the beginning of closure for many, but one retired detective said he still has unanswered questions.more>>
Jerome Barrett has been indicted in the murder of Marcia Trimble. The announcement was made Friday morning at the Metro District Attorney's office. more>>
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Jerome Barrett was not always the prime suspect in the Marcia Trimble murder case.
There were other suspects including Jeffrey Womack. Womack, then a teenager, lived in the 9-year-old girl's neighborhood.
On Friday, Barrett was indicted for the 1975 murder.
Womack's attorney demands an apology from police. Womack lived with his family in the same Green Hills neighborhood. Green Hills is a neighborhood west of downtown Nashville.
It's a neighborhood that has changed a lot in three decades.
Joe Wilson has lived on Copeland Road in Green Hills since the 1950's. He will never forget police officers blocking off the neighborhood as they frantically searched for Marcia.
"It was quite a jolt to the community," Wilson said.
Wilson and other neighbors helped police look for Marcia. Police combed the neighborhood not only for her body but for suspects as well.
"There were some suspects and they gave them a pretty rough time," said Womack's attorney, John Hollins.
One of the suspects was Womack, then a 15-year-old. Police arrested him a few years later, but they never charged him in the case.
"Yeah, Jeffrey has not been really treated fairly in this case," Hollins said.
Hollins told Womack about the indictment against Barrett.
"I said, ‘Jeffrey these people are going to want to know what your reaction is. Are you happy?' He said, ‘I'm glad they charged the right person,'" Hollins said Womack told him Friday.
Hollins told Womack not to speak publicly about the case because he might be called as a witness.
"Jeffrey's been interviewed by (Davidson County Deputy District Attorney General) Tom Thurman who is the chief prosecutor," Hollins said. "He's been given a grant of immunity, use immunity so nothing he says can be used against him. It's my information that Jeffrey is no longer a suspect."
Wilson said he never suspected any of the children in the neighborhood of killing Marcia. But, like police, he did not see many clues leading to someone else.
"I truly figured they'd never solve it," he said. "I thought it would always be unsolved.
Hollins said in 1979 Womack gave blood and hair samples to police. He said police cleared him, but did not tell the public. That's why he believes Womack deserves an apology.
Barrett will be tried for the rape and murder of a Vanderbilt student before he's tried in the Trimble case. That trial is set for October.
"I just wish Marcia's father, I wish Charlie to be alive to witness this day, but this is Marcia's day," said Marcia's mother, Virginia Trimble. "It's justice for her, if he is the indeed the person that killed Marcia."
Trimble now lives in southern Kentucky.
In response to the indictment, Trimble released a written statement Friday.
"I praise God for the never-yielding investigation work of the Metro Police Department as they, joined with the District Attorney's Office, may finally bring justice for Marcia and solve her murder that has haunted us all for 33 years," she wrote.