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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Seven bounty hunters who descended on the wrong car outside a Wal-Mart have been indicted on first-degree murder charges in the killing of an unarmed man and the wounding of another, Tennessee police announced Wednesday.

This combo of booking photos released by the Clarksville, Tenn., Police Department shows, top row from left, William L. Byles, Kenneth Chiasson, Antwon D. Keesee and Jonathan Schnepp; bottom row from left, Roger D. West, Prentice L. Williams and Joshua Young.  (Clarksville Police Department via AP)

The charges come after a chaotic scene in Clarksville on April 23, where police said the bounty hunters shot at the four people in the sedan and chased them for seven miles.

Not one of the men in the sedan was wanted on outstanding charges.

In fact, the Clarksville bounty hunters were looking for someone else, and there is no indication that any of the victims fired at the defendants or were even armed, police spokesman Jim Knoll said in an email.

Bail bondsmen are empowered to hire or act as bounty hunters to bring in people who violate the terms of jail bonds, but they can’t use deadly force unless it’s self-defense.

Killed was 24-year-old Jalen Johnson, a father of three from Clarksville. His family called him an innocent man who died in an act of terrorizing violence.

Jalen Johnson 

Johnson’s uncle, Toni Jenkins, told The Associated Press that his nephew and the three men in the car with him had no idea why people would suddenly block their car in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Fearing an attack by gang members, they tried to flee.

The bounty hunters, Jenkins said, started shooting in the parking lot and continued to fire on them during the chase, even ramming the Nissan along the way.

Clarksville police would not confirm or deny these details, but authorities have said they are troubled by how the bounty hunters put people at risk.

The Montgomery County grand jury charged all seven men with first-degree felony murder, three counts of attempted second-degree murder, three counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, attempted especially aggravated kidnapping, four counts of aggravated assault, employing a firearm in commission of a dangerous felony and felony reckless endangerment, police said.

Some of the men charged were bonding agents and others were strictly bounty hunters, Knoll said.

The men charged include: 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 do not yet have court dates or attorneys listed, the Montgomery County Circuit Court Clerk’s office said.

All the men are from Clarksville, a city about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Nashville near the Kentucky state line.

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10 thoughts on “Bounty Hunters Charged With Murder After Killing Wrong, Unarmed Man

  1. No one has been denied health care…no hospitals have been closed; no doctors have been put out of business…people HAVE, however, been denied GOVERNMENT MONEY to pay for their health care…now, YOU have to pay for YOUR health care YOURSELF, rather than depending on the government to “help” you…and that is much more fair for the rest of us that pay taxes and pay for ourselves as well as for you…

  2. African American Woman on said:

    These fools need to go to jail for a LOOOOOOONG time…chasing the dollar got innocent men killed…ive heard of things like this happening before. I don’t understand how bounty hunters have the power to decide, execute and apprehend folks…this is a travesty.

  3. Diane on said:

    Ppl kill me coming on this site and defending the deplorable fake prez. The republithugs just voted to take away healthcare from millions. And I’m going to watch this repeal of healthcare implode with the whinny bitch in Cheif celebrate taking healthcare from ppl and giving million dollar tax breaks for the rich. Unbelievable!!!

  4. Oops!!!!!

    First it’s the Pigs shooting first and asking questions later, now its some damn “bounty hunters”-
    shooting and killing the wrong person.

    Bounty hunters should have plenty of info regarding who they are going after.
    Mistakes such as this should not happen.

    My heart goes out to the families of those innocent men who were ambushed and MURDERED!!!!!!

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