NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A suspect accused of killing a blind homeless man with a fire extinguisher faces additional charges for a separate incident just two days earlier.
Brandon Brown is charged with criminal homicide for the death of 43-year-old David Warren at the downtown bus station parking garage on December 23. Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said Brown implicated himself in the murder after Warren's body was found on the 5th floor of the garage. The motive remains unknown.
However, a West Nashville family strongly believes Warren's death could have been prevented if Brown was not released from jail earlier in the week. Brown was already facing misdemeanor charges of aggravated trespass, assault of officer, assault and resisting arrest for an incident on Summerly Drive. Homeowner Kim Ingram said Brown tried to force his way into her home despite her brother telling him to leave multiple times. Cell phone video captured the moment he repeatedly told Brown not to come in, but he responded with, "Step to the right, or I'll move you to the right."
"Then he attacked my brother and they fought outside," Kim told NewsChannel 5. "He had to literally hold him in there fighting with him for 10 minutes for police to get there."
In the affidavit, her brother said he was in fear for himself and his niece sleeping at the time, so he pushed Brown away only to be pushed back. Officers arrived and tried to arrest Brown, but he allegedly refused to comply, became aggressive and threw his body into the front door. The report said Brown yelled, "kill me" to the officers and even had his hand reach towards one of the officer's guns. More officers had to arrive to subdue Brown and pepper spray him.
"It was just completely terrifying. It’s been scary because this man wasn't in his right mind," Mary Ingram, Kim's daughter, added. "It took six officers to get him out of the house."
Brown was held on a $4,000 bond but was eventually released that day without having to pay through the Davidson County Sheriff's Office Pretrial Service. Brown, with no criminal history in Davidson County and arrested for misdemeanor charges, was eligible for release under qualifications pre-set and approved by judges, the district attorney’s office and public defenders.
Pretrial services are designed to maximize the release of qualified defendants from custody on non-financial conditions, according to the DCSO website. It went on to say it is "accomplished by identifying those defendants most likely to appear in court on their scheduled court date, supervising these individuals while out on Pretrial, and providing accurate information to be used in the determination of bond setting."
Among the reasons to have the service are to reduce jail overcrowding, reduce inequities in the pretrial release system and minimize failure to appear rates.
"I was just stunned. I couldn't believe he was out already," Kim said.
Kim and her family members say his aggressive behavior should have been an indication to keep him in jail longer and at least get help for what appeared to be mental health issues. She felt Warren's death should not have happened.
"This man should not be dead. It was obvious that this guy is dangerous, and you don't let dangerous people out," Kim said.
Warren is one out of 100 people in the homeless community who died in 2019 so far. The number was lower than the 2018 record, but homeless advocates say the numbers are still too high and know they are missing people. There are a handful of people each year on the list who died after they moved into housing from the streets about a week or month later.
Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall is set to open a mental health unit at the new criminal justice center next year that offers mental help instead of jail time for certain defendants.