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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

[TN] Officer Melody Pierce who shot her ex, loses her job, accused of filing a false police report on him later

...The board determined that Pierce swore out a warrant against a former boyfriend using false information...

HUMBOLDT ALDERMEN FIRE PIERCE FROM POLICE FORCE
The Jackson Sun
By MARIANN MARTIN
mmartin10@jacksonsun.com
May 19, 2009
[Excerpts] The Humboldt Board of Aldermen voted 4-1 to fire police Officer Melody Pierce Monday night in a special called meeting that lasted more than two hours. The board determined that Pierce swore out a warrant against a former boyfriend using false information. The firing is the latest in a chain of events that began when Pierce shot former boyfriend Robert Kendall in a scuffle Nov. 29 at her home in Milan. Alderman Bobby Barnett was the only board member voting against the firing on Monday... The termination was done at the written recommendation of Humboldt Mayor Allen Barker, Police Chief Ray Simmons and Assistant Chief Bill Baker... Pierce has been suspended with pay since February. Pierce has admitted that she shot Kendall after a scuffle at her home. The incident also involved another Humboldt officer, Hunter Stewart. Pierce has since married Stewart. Kendall spent several days in the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound to his leg. The district attorney general decided not to press charges against Pierce or Stewart after Milan police concluded their investigation of the shooting... Kendall was charged with criminal trespassing, assault and two counts of vandalism in the incident. He later pleaded best interest to a charge of simple assault and one count of vandalism. The board hearing Monday focused on a Jan. 14 incident at the Humboldt Wal-Mart in which Pierce accused Kendall of violating an order of protection... When two officers arrived and investigated the matter, they determined Kendall had not violated the order of protection... Later that same day, Pierce swore out a warrant stating "Robert Kendall followed her around Wal-Mart and watched the doors so she couldn't leave"... Kendall was arrested and jailed on allegations in that warrant. The District Attorney General later determined the allegation were not true... The district attorney also expressed concern that Pierce would not be a credible witness as a police officer because of her action... "She caused someone to be arrested on information that is clearly incorrect," Burleson said. "A man was jailed because of this affidavit"... [Full article here]

EXCERPTS FROM EARLIER SELECT JACKSON SUN ARTICLES:

OFFICER PUT ON PAID LEAVE
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
[Excerpts] A Humboldt police officer is on paid administrative leave after she shot her ex-boyfriend in the hip outside her Milan home... Humboldt officer Melody Pierce 31, told Milan police she shot Robert Kendall shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday after a scuffle over a gun. Hunter Stewart, another Humboldt police officer, also was involved in the incident. Stewart was back at work Monday, said Humboldt Police Chief Raymond Simmons... Milan police Commander Bobby Sellers said Monday the incident is still under investigation and no one has been arrested. [Milan police Commander Bobby] Sellers said he was trying to get in touch with Kendall to interview him about the shooting... he did not know what Kendall's condition was Monday... The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which sometimes assists with investigations of officer-related shootings, is not involved in this case... According to the initial police report, Milan police responded to a call of someone breaking a window on South First Street on Saturday night. When police arrived at Pierce 's home, they found Kendall lying in the carport with a gunshot wound to his hip, according to the police report. Pierce was standing about eight feet from Kendall, holding a handgun. She was still on the phone with a police dispatcher, telling the person she had shot Kendall, the report said. Pierce told police that Kendall, who is her ex-boyfriend, and Stewart were fighting in the carport when Kendall reached for Stewart's gun, the report said. She then shot Kendall to protect Stewart, Pierce told police. Pierce said Kendall had harassed her in the past, according to the report. Earlier Saturday, Kendall entered her home without permission and also locked her into a bedroom with him, she said. She asked him to leave and he did... Stewart told police that after the window to the house was broken, he walked outside with his handgun and saw Kendall walking away, the report said. Stewart told Kendall to stop, and Kendall turned around and walked toward him, the report said. Stewart then pointed his gun at Kendall and told him to stop. Stewart told police he then put his gun behind his back. At that point, Kendall hit Stewart and pushed him into the carport wall, Stewart said. The two began wrestling for the handgun... Both Pierce and Stewart were carrying their department-issued handguns, Sellers said...

HUMBOLDT OFFICERS FACE NO CHARGES IN NOV. SHOOTING
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The Humboldt police officer who shot her ex-boyfriend [Robert Kendall] in the hip in November will not be charged in the incident, according to Milan police Commander Bobby Sellers... Kendall was charged Tuesday with criminal trespassing, assault and two counts of vandalism... Pierce was placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting. Humboldt Police Chief Ray Simmons said Tuesday that she was on leave a few days in December before returning to work at the department...

SHOOTING DEFENDANT SIGNS WARRANTS
Thursday, February 19, 2009
[Excerpts] The Humboldt man who was shot by an off-duty Humboldt police officer in Milan last November has signed three warrants for her arrest. Robert Kendall swore out three warrants against his ex-girlfriend, Melody Pierce...
The warrants signed by Kendall charge Pierce, 31, with aggravated assault, aggravated perjury and filing a false police report...

SENTENCING; SUSPENSION
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
[Excerpts] The Humboldt police officer who shot her ex-boyfriend has been suspended with pay after three warrants charged her with criminal wrongdoing in the shooting. Melody Pierce was suspended last Thursday, according to Humboldt Police Chief Ray Simmons... Last week, Kendall said what happened is quite different from details that had been released so far and that Pierce 's actions since the shooting have called her police statement into question...

OFFICER FACES FALSE REPORT CHARGE
Thursday, March 12, 2009
[Excerpts] The Humboldt police officer who shot her ex-boyfriend last November has been charged with filing a false police report against him. Melody Pierce, 31, of Milan, was charged after Madison County sheriff's deputies responded to a call reporting a violation of an order of protection at the Farmer's Merchant Bank around 5 p.m. Friday...
When deputies arrived, Pierce accused her ex-boyfriend, Robert Kendall, of Humboldt, of violating an order of protection that was put in place after the Nov. 29 shooting. After questioning witnesses, deputies concluded that Pierce 's complaint was unfounded... Pierce 's lawyer, Cynthia Chandler-Snell, said police did not interview all of the witnesses to the incident... Chandler-Snell said Pierce and Kendall came to the bank with others who were there to exchange a child as part of a visitation agreement. Pierce is married to Humboldt police officer Hunter Stewart, who was exchanging his child with his ex-wife, Chandler-Snell said. Kendall was with Stewart's ex-wife, she said...

MAN SHOT BY OFF-DUTY OFFICER ENTERS 'BEST INTEREST' PLEA
Thursday, April 9, 2009
[Excerpts] A Humboldt man who was shot by his estranged girlfriend, an off-duty Humboldt police officer, entered a "best interest" plea Wednesday to charges that stem from the shooting incident. Appearing Wednesday afternoon in Milan Municipal Court, Robert Kendall agreed to plead to a simple assault charge and one count of vandalism in an incident involving his ex-girlfriend, Melody Pierce . A sentence of 11 months and 29 days on the two counts was suspended, and he will be on unsupervised probation during that time. After completing his probation, the charges will be expunged from his record. Kendall agreed to pay $500 restitution and court costs for one of his appearances. The other court costs were dropped. After the court appearance, Kendall's lawyer, Brandon L. Newman, said Kendall was not admitting guilt in the incident. The decision to plead in the case was to end what would likely be a lengthy legal process and was in Kendall's best interest, Newman said. "He won't spend any time in jail, and it won't go on his record," Newman said... Kendall, who was injured in the shooting, swore out three warrants against Pierce on Feb. 18, charging her with aggravated assault, aggravated perjury and filing a false police report. The aggravated assault charge was dismissed because of lack of evidence. The aggravated perjury and filing a false police report charges were dismissed because the charges were filed in an improper court...

HUMBOLDT OFFICER WILL SOON GO BEFORE PERSONNEL BOARD
May 12, 2009
[Excerpts] A case involving a Humboldt police officer, her ex-boyfriend and an incident at a Humboldt Wal-Mart will soon be heard by a personnel board, according to Humboldt Police Chief Ray Simmons. The hearing will be about the officer's employment status... Robert Kendall, [Officer Melody] Pierce's ex-boyfriend, told the Jackson Sun that while he was shopping in a Humboldt Wal-Mart in January, Pierce walked past him and then called Humboldt Police Department. When officers investigated the matter, they determined Kendall had not violated an order of protection that was put in place after a Nov. 29 shooting. Kendall was not arrested. Pierce then filed a violation of order of protection in the incident. The district attorney's office later ruled there was lack of probable cause and dropped the case. In March, Pierce was charged with filing a false police report in Madison County after Madison County sheriff's deputies responded to a call reporting a violation of an order of protection at the Farmer's Merchant Bank.... After questioning witnesses, deputies concluded that Pierce's complaint was unfounded. Pierce appeared on the false police report charge Tuesday in Madison County General Sessions Court, where it was announced that an agreement had been made... the case will be passed for six months and if Pierce does not get into any more trouble, the case will be dismissed. Pierce will also have to pay court cost. The case will go before the judge next on Nov. 12...

OFFICER'S CHARGE MAY BE DISMISSED
Melody Pierce to appear before Humboldt personnel board
May 13, 2009
[Excerpts] A Humboldt police officer who is charged with filing a false police report in Madison County will have the charge dismissed if she does not get into any more trouble for six months... Pierce remains suspended with pay... Police Chief Ray Simmons said Tuesday that she will have a hearing with the city's personnel board about her employment status in the next week or so. The Board of Aldermen serves as the personnel board for the city... Simmons said that the hearing concerns an incident that occurred at Wal-Mart but that he could not discuss the details...

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