On Trail of Suspect, Bounty Hunters Killed an Innocent Man

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As it turned out, the police said, no one in the car was wanted on an arrest warrant, and none had any weapons. The bounty hunters had mistakenly gone after the wrong people.

On Wednesday, the authorities announced that the seven bounty hunters had each been indicted on first-degree murder charges.

Richard Milan, a cousin of Mr. Johnson, called the killing senseless. “They killed my cousin and could have killed everyone in the car for nothing,” he told The Leaf-Chronicle.

In addition to murder, the seven bounty hunters were each indicted by a grand jury on 15 other charges, including attempted murder and aggravated kidnapping. In Tennessee, bounty hunters can carry weapons but may use deadly force only in cases of self-defense.

The men charged are William L. Byles, 31; Kenneth Chiasson, 38; Antwon D. Keesee, 32; Jonathan Schnepp, 31; Roger D. West, 31; Prentice L. Williams, 34; and Joshua Young, 27. They are each being held in the Montgomery County Jail with bail set at $300,000. Information about their lawyers was not immediately available.

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Source: New York Times

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