Woman Second to Face Federal Arson Charges Related to May Nashville Courthouse Fire


Federal authorities this week charged a Nashville woman with vandalizing the Nashville Metro Courthouse in May.

This, according to a press release that staff at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee published on their website.

A criminal complaint charged Shelby Ligons, 22, with malicious destruction of property using fire or explosives, the press release said.

“The criminal complaint alleges that on the afternoon of May 30, 2020, protesters gathered in downtown Nashville following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Later in the evening, a number of persons gathered in front of the Nashville City Hall, also known as the Metro Courthouse. Using various tools, including crowbars and other objects, they began smashing the windows of the premises and spraying graffiti on the Courthouse facade. One or more fires were also set inside of the Courthouse at this time,” according to the press release.

“Numerous video clips and photographs of the destruction at City Hall were posted on social media websites, on the websites for news outlets, and on other Internet sites. Ligons is depicted in video clips and photographs from that afternoon and evening wearing blue jeans, a black-colored shirt, a medical mask, and a white-colored bandana on her head. In those video clips and photographs, Ligons is depicted holding a white-colored poster board with the words ‘F–k The Police’ and ‘We Will Not Be Silent’ written on it. In several video clips, Ligons is depicted setting fire to the poster and placing it inside a window located on the exterior structure of City Hall.”

FBI agents arrested Ligons this week. If convicted, she faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 20 years in prison, the press release said.

Authorities previously charged Wesley Somers, 25, of Hendersonville, in June. His case is pending in U.S. District Court, according to the press release.

As The Tennessee Star reported at the time, quoting a criminal complaint, video clips depicted Somers attempting to smash courthouse windows. One photograph depicted Somers holding an unknown accelerant, which had been set on fire, and placing the accelerant through the window of the Courthouse.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Shelby Ligons” by Tea Partiest. 






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7 Thoughts to “Woman Second to Face Federal Arson Charges Related to May Nashville Courthouse Fire”

  1. Rick

    Commie Cooper should be charged also. This woman should get the max penalty allowed with Cooper charged as an accomplice also receiving the maximum penalty. RECALL COOPER!

  2. You’re So Nashville If...

    …burning and looting is just fine as long as you wear your mask.

  3. Julie

    The people that participated in this were likely emboldened by Mayor Cooper’s participation in the BLM/Antifa gathering that occurred earlier in the day (masks and social distancing were optional). He should have to pay for the damage out of his own pocket!

  4. CLay

    I hope they throw the book at these people. There are civil ways to do things, rioting and destruction of property is not the way.

  5. Kevin

    How sad! A pretty, young woman with the whole world right there in front of her. Gone!

    Black Lives Matter, but unfortunately until individuals stop listening to people who put tattoos ahead of education and hair braids and body piecing before skills, this scenario will continue to play out!

    And we all know about the lack of two parent households, but, I blame the Community leaders who accept and condone all of this, all the while fattening their own wallets! At some point, someone has to say enough is enough, and stop it. Obama had a great opportunity, but he cashed in and moved to Martha’s Vineyard. How sad!

  6. Trevor

    That is good news! They should be charged under the RICO statute! Mayor Cooper encouraged all Nashvillians to attend a protest/ black lives matter event, that turned violent including damaging city hall, privately owned businesses and large overtime pay to Metro police and employees. Metro just raised property taxes by 34%. This mayor seems to be lost and definitely does not keep his promises about raising taxes! I live in Nashville and when we keep electing the same council members we are getting inefficient government! How many Metro employees have been laid off? Private sector has laid off large number of employees. If we keep electing bad leaders, Megan Berry, Briley, Karl Dean and now keeping it in the family the Coopers (Mayor and Congressman)! We need a strong two party system in metro. Where is the Davidson county GOP? Councilman Glover, please work with Dr Manny to field candidates in all races to give people of Metro a real choice. If you keep electing the same people expecting a different result, that is called insanity.

  7. Dave

    Her next tattoo needs to be “I am anarchist scum” but there’s really no room left on her skin.