TXR parent arrested after civil complaints dismissed
By PATRICK HALL
Jackie Shook, the plaintiff in two civil warrants filed against Tuckers Crossroads Elementary School Student Resource Officer Pete Mecher and TXR parent Ashley Davis, was arrested Thursday morning for filing a false report after the civil warrants were dismissed in Wilson County General Sessions Court.
She is being arrested for filing a false police report against a Tennessee State Trooper, William Bennett, said Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe.
Ashe said Shook filed a report stating Bennett, who is also the parent of a TXR student, was at her home and blocking her driveway on Feb. 7. He also noted the report claimed Bennett was allegedly harassing Shook and her family.
However, Ashe said they have proof that on Feb. 7 at the time Shook claimed Bennett was at her home, he was actually on Hartmann Drive in Lebanon working a traffic accident.
When asked if she was sure the State Trooper was Bennett, Ashe said Shook was adamant in her identification of the patrolman.
Ive got her on video saying she knows him and his child, the sheriff said.
Ashe said the 12 members of the Wilson County jury heard testimony from local officials. He said the grand jury looked over the evidence presented and returned the indictment last week.
Jackie Shook, center, is arrested by Sheriff's Deputies Thursday morning.
A deputy with the Sheriffs Department met Shook outside the courtroom Thursday morning and arrested her, after two civil warrants she filed were dismissed by Judge Barry Tatum.
Because of the two civil warrants being heard in court Thursday, Ashe said he withheld arresting Shook until those matters were resolved.
I didnt want to prejudice the judges decision during this civil matter, the sheriff said. But this has got to stop.
During the courtroom proceedings, Shook took the stand testifying that Davis allegedly filed two false police reports against her and defamed Shooks character in the process. Shook also filed a civil warrant against Mecher stating he filed false reports against her and intimidated and harassed her and her daughter at school.
Jeff Thompson, attorney for Travelers Insurance, who represented Mecher, asked that the case be dismissed due to the fact that all claims against Mecher were made while he was in the official capacity of a Student Resource Officer. Travelers Insurance is the countys insurance provider.
County Attorney Mike Jennings explained that the General Sessions Court has no jurisdiction over lawsuits filed against county employees. He pointed out the Government Tort Liability Act states any suits against government employees belong in Circuit Court.
Im going to grant the motion for dismissal because I dont have jurisdiction, Tatum said.
When Shook testified in the case against Davis, she claimed reports filed by Davis saying Shook allegedly ran her off the road in her vehicle and grabbed Davis by the arm, cursing at her, were false.
Shes written these lies about me in this false police report and none of this ever happened, Shook said.
Shook was seeking $25,000 from Davis in the case for defamation of character, reckless endangerment and punitive damages. John Meadows, attorney with the Law Offices of Hugh Green who represented Davis, said the case was without merit and also asked for a dismissal.
She has no good character, respectfully, shes been banned from Tuckers Crossroads by the county, Meadows said, referring to the charge of defamation of character.
Tatum asked Shook if she had any witnesses to corroborate her claims that Davis has defamed her character, but Shook said she had no other witnesses. She did want to bring her daughter to testify, but indicated Tatum told her the 11-year-old could not testify in the matter.
Shook insisted she was telling the truth and said she had proof that she was at a parent-teacher meeting at the time Davis claimed Shook ran her off the road. However, Tatum again asked if anyone could attest that Davis actions had hurt Shooks character.
In regards to the $25,000 sought by Shook, Tatum noted that Shook did not have a job and asked if she could show proof that she has lost money due to Davis actions. Shook said she could not say shes lost money but noted the stress caused to her and her daughter is the main injustice.
My daughter and I have endured emotional stress because of this, your honor shes been the victim not only this year but last year in fifth grade and the year before that, Shook said.
However, Tatum said civil matters are focused only on what the defendant may have done to cause the plaintiff harm, and the plaintiff being able to prove that harm occurred.
He advised Shook to be represented by an attorney, who was more aware of the legal proceedings, including the fact that General Sessions Court had no jurisdiction in the case against Mecher.
You have to show that theres a disregard for their responsibilities, and you have to show that theyve caused you harm and most importantly you have to show that theres a monetary loss, Tatum explained.
Shook, who became emotional on the stand, said the Wilson County School System illegally banned her from coming onto TXR property. Last week, Jennings and the school system issued her a letter preventing her from coming onto campus except to pick up and drop off her child.
She said she also sent letters to 6th District U.S. Rep. Diane Black and Gov. Bill Haslam about this situation and received an invitation to speak with Black at the Wilson County Board of Education on Monday.
However, Shook said they sent her another letter that told her she was not allowed to come onto any Wilson County Schools property, preventing her from speaking with Black.
I have done nothing, but theres a man sitting in this room that has come to my back door, threatened to shoot me, shoot my livestock and burn my house down, Shook said.
Tatum told her the General Sessions Court was not there to make people feel better or to get people to kiss and make up.
Thats not what Im here for, Shook said.
Well I cant work miracles, Tatum responded.
Immediately after the case was dismissed, Shook was met outside the courtroom by Sheriffs deputies and arrested for filing the false report against Trooper Bennett. Ashe said it was unfortunate the false report came up during the civil matters, but said holding onto the indictment was fair to the system and fair to (Shook).
This has got to stop, and I depend on the school system to do their part to make it stop, Ashe said.
He also noted he felt the letter sent to Shook by school system officials was effective and said his concern was for every child at TXR, including Shooks daughter.
Shook was booked into the Wilson County Jail on a $1,000 bond.
This wont be the end of it, Jennings commented after her arrest.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.