News release from the governor;s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of Decatur County Fire Chief Kenny Fox.
“I encourage anyone who knows anything about this case to contact local authorities immediately, and I hope this reward leads to justice for Chief Fox’s family,” Haslam said.
On April 7, Fox was killed and two firefighters, Jeremy and Randy Inman, were injured while battling a blaze at the Oak Hill Bar in Parsons. Investigators later determined that the fire was an act of arson, which makes Fox’s death a Class A felony of first degree murder.
Hansel McCadams, District Attorney General for the 24th Judicial District, and the Tennessee Bomb and Arson Investigation Unit request that anyone with information about the fire call the arson hotline at 1-800-762-3017.
The Republican primary race in state House District 65, an open seat in western Williamson County created by redistricting, took a dramatic turn as candidate Kenny Young featured opponent Jeremy Durham’s arrest record in a series of mailings, according to the Williamson Herald.
“I think the voters of the 65th District deserve to know the truth about each of the candidates’ past,” said Young’s campaign manager Jordan Woodruff of Brentwood.
Durham said “college shenanigans” shouldn’t take center stage when more important issues are at stake.
“I regret that my opponent has chosen to run a negative campaign, but we choose to remain positive and continue our message of cutting red tape on small businesses, getting spending under control and improving our education system,” said Durham in a written statement.
“I hope my opponents will join me and commit to discussing the real issues facing District 65 and not college shenanigans,” he said.
“We believe,” said Young, “this information is relevant. We believe that the voters deserve to have as much information about the candidates they can get so they can make their own decisions. And this is relevant considering my opponent, Mr. Durham, just moved into Williamson County 13 months ago and appointed his campaign treasurer while still living in Nashville.”
Last week, Young’s campaign released a mailer featuring Durham’s arrest records headlined as “Arrested Development” with jail bars laid over a photo of Durham. The mailer called Durham “a young man with a long record.”
It pointed out an arrest by University of Tennessee Knoxville police in 2003 for vandalism, theft, and aggravated burglary.
…Durham did not deny the arrests – but said he was not convicted as the case was otherwise resolved.
“When I was a teenager in college, several college students stole items from our fraternity house,” he explained in an e-mailed statement. “We responded by taking some of their items, and I was caught pulling a college prank. While it is true that I was taken into custody, all charges were then dropped.”
Young’s mailer also pointed to a 2006 arrest for driving with a suspended license citing a Germantown, Tenn. case.
Durham added, “As to the other false allegation, I was ticketed by a red light camera and the ticket was mailed to my parents’ home while I was living at college. The ticket went unpaid because I was unaware of it and my license was suspended. As soon as I was made aware of the ticket, I paid the fine.”
Young’s mailer continues with, “How can we trust Jeremy Durham to make the law when he keeps breaking the law?” Young’s campaign released more details of the arrests in another mailer that hit Franklin mailboxes Monday.
Featuring photos of fingerprints and another photo of Durham with bars added over his picture, the new mailer said “Jeremy Durham has left his mark at the jailhouse … Can you trust him to leave his mark at the State House?”