Cops: 7 Bounty Hunters Made Fatal Mistake Outside Walmart

All 7 charged with murder after allegedly shooting at wrong car, killing unarmed man
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 4, 2017 7:21 AM CDT
Cops: 7 Bounty Hunters Shot at Wrong Car, Killed Unarmed Man
This combo of booking photos released by the Clarksville 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.   (Uncredited)

Seven bounty hunters who descended on the wrong car outside a Walmart have been indicted on first-degree murder charges in the killing of an unarmed man and the wounding of another, Tennessee cops announced Wednesday. The charges come after a chaotic scene in Clarksville on April 23, where police said the bounty hunters shot at four people in a Nissan sedan and chased them for seven miles. None of the men in the car was wanted on outstanding charges, the AP reports. In fact, the bounty hunters were looking for someone else, with no indication any of the victims fired at the defendants or were even armed, police spokesman Jim Knoll says. 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.

Johnson's uncle, Toni Jenkins, says his nephew and and his three companions thought they were being attacked by gang members and tried to flee. The bounty hunters, Jenkins says, started shooting in the Walmart parking lot and kept firing during the chase. Clarksville cops wouldn't discuss these details. The Montgomery County grand jury charged the seven men from Clarksville—William Byles, 31; Kenneth Chiasson, 38; Antwon Keesee, 32; Jonathan Schnepp, 31; Roger West, 31; Prentice Williams, 34; and Joshua Young, 27—with first-degree felony murder, three counts of attempted second-degree murder, and a slew of other charges, police say. Some of the men charged were bonding agents, others were strictly bounty hunters, per Knoll. Bail bondsmen can hire or act as bounty hunters to bring in people who violate jail bond terms, but they can't use deadly force unless it's self-defense. (More bounty hunter stories.)

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