Tennessee lawmaker introduces Spencer Bristol Act in honor of fallen Hendersonville officer

Posted at 11:31 AM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 20:52:42-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R – Portland) has introduced a bill named in honor of a Hendersonville police officer who was killed in the line of duty.

The Spencer Bristol Act, HB1805, would increase the penalties for evading arrest when a law enforcement officer is injured or dies in pursuit of a suspect. Officer Spencer Bristol was hit and killed during a chase on I-65 near Goodlettsville on December 30.

“He was trying desperately to apprehend that person in order to keep the public safe. Unfortunately, this criminal put him - and everyone else on the roadway that night - in danger and it cost Officer Bristol his life,” Lamberth said.

According to a release, evading arrest is currently a Class D felony punishable by 2 – 12 years in prison. This legislation would raise the potential felony to a Class A, which is punishable by 15-60 years in prison.

The bill also “increases the penalty for causing serious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer in pursuit from a Class D felony to a Class C felony.”

Lamberth is co-sponsoring the bill with Sen. Ferrell Haile (R – Gallatin) and Reps. Johnny Garrett (R – Goodlettsville) and Terri Lynn Weaver (R – Lancaster).