Nashville Courthouse Arsonist Scheduled to Be Sentenced Next Week

Wesley Somers

 

One of the Nashville Courthouse arsonists is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

The Middle District of Tennessee Clerk’s office has told The Tennessee Star that Wesley Somers of Hendersonville is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Aleta Trauger on February 22, 2022 at 1 p.m.

This is the third sentencing hearing that has been scheduled for Somers. The Star previously reported that Somers’ original sentencing date was December 1st, 2021 and it had been postponed to January 18th, 2022. After defense counsel made an opposed motion to postpone the January hearing to a third date, that motion was granted.

Somers’ defense counsel, R. David Baker, made a motion for a continuance because he needed more time to prepare for the sentencing hearing in light of information contained in the presentence report, which included an enhancement to the offense level. It remains unclear what “an enhancement to the offense level” refers to, but that information is expected to come to light at the February 22, 2022 hearing, if there is a public filing on it. The Clerk’s Office of the Middle District of Tennessee says that presentencing reports are always under seal.

The defense intends to call Dr. Kimberly Brown as a witness at the upcoming sentencing hearing in order to discuss a psychological evaluation of Wesley Somers.

Somers pled guilty to Malicious Destruction of Property Using Fire or Explosives, a federal charge due to his actions at the Metro Nashville Courthouse on May 30, 2020. Somers was the first person arrested in connection to the courthouse fire. The attempted burning down of the Metro Courthouse occurred during riots connected to George Floyd protests in Nashville.

In a criminal complaint, the Department of Justice described what occurred at the Metro Courthouse:

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.

Shelby Ligons of Nashville also pled guilty to the same federal charge of Malicious Destruction of Property Using Fire or Explosives and received a sentence of 12 months and one day. Other conditions included three years of supervised release upon the completion of the term of imprisonment, restitution in the amount of $500, and a fee of $100.

It is unclear if Ligons’ sentencing will have any bearing on or similarity to Somers’.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]

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  1. […] Star previously reported that Somers was initially arrested and charged due to evidence found on various social media […]

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