As it turns out, left-wing activist and Vanderbilt Divinity School student Justin Jones won’t face any consequences for allegedly disrupting a Marsha Blackburn rally in Nashville last fall.
Stephen Hayslip, spokesman for Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk, confirmed the information to The Tennessee Star in an emailed statement Tuesday — but he offered no other comment.
A judge dismissed Jones’ case in that matter Tuesday.
Jones, on his Facebook page Tuesday afternoon, seemed to delight in the news.
“The case from being arrested at Marsha Blackburn’s rally was dismissed by the judge,” Jones wrote.
“Grateful for the friends who showed up from church, school, and the community, my lawyer Nick, and the cloud of witnesses surrounding us in prayers. There is much work to do to redeem the soul of this state- to make sure the rights and dignity of all people are respected, protected, and never neglected.”
Nicholas Kiefer, courts director for state trial courts in Davidson County, said Dianne Turner, the judge who dismissed Jones’ case.
“My information says it was a flat dismissal,” Kiefer said, adding he had little else to add.
Turner, according to Ballotpedia, is a Democrat judge in Davidson County’s General Sessions Court Division V.
Turner was elected to the court in 2006 and re-elected in 2014. Her current term ends in 2022, according to the website.
As The Star reported Tuesday, the Turner dismissed Jones’ case based on a discrepancy in the documents between the date of his arrest and the date of his subsequent warrant.
Turner determined that the paperwork error justified dismissal of the criminal trespass and resisting arrest charges.
The criminal warrant issued against Jones three days after his initial arrest contained the date that the warrant was issued rather than the date of the initial arrest, causing Judge Turner to determine that the warrant was flawed and that the DA would have to proceed to the Grand Jury to pursue the charges against Jones.
Jones still faces other criminal charges related to his assault of House Speaker Glen Casada and Representative Debra Moody late last month. Prior to the dismissal of the case, Jones was facing possible revocation of his bond pending a hearing on the February assault charges. Jones is scheduled to be back in General Sessions Court before Judge Turner on March 22 for a preliminary hearing on the assault charges.
– – –
Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Dianne Turner” by Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County.