BOMBSHELL: Journalist Could Face Jail Time for Publishing Nashville Shooter's Writings

AP Photo/John Amis

A journalist for the Tennessee Star could reportedly be facing jail time for publishing journal writings of Audrey Hale, who killed six people at Covenant Elementary School in Nashville in March 2023.

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The shooter’s manifesto has been the subject of a legal and cultural debate after the authorities refused to release the document. The Tennessee Star’s article describes the content of Hale’s writings, highlighting her “imaginary penis” and how she would “kill” to obtain puberty blockers. Now, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Patrick Leahy, could be facing a contempt of court charge for allowing the article to be published.

For more than a year, Nashville Chancellor I’Ashea Myles has been presiding over a public records case wherein the plaintiffs are suing to get the right to release documents related to the shooting. Families of the victims are on the exact opposite side, trying to bury the documents and keep them out of the public eye.

But since the case in ongoing, Myles is claiming that the Tennessee Star may have published 'certain purported documents and information' that should have remained under seal.

At Myle's request, Tennessee Star editor-in-chief Michael Patrick Leahy will appear in court Monday to explain why his news outlet didn't violate the court order.

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Leahy has defended the news outlet’s article, arguing that it did not publish any of the images that were leaked.

Author and journalist Michael Shellenberger chimed in on the case in a post on X in which he detailed how the Pentagon tried to stop the publication of documents that could be embarrassing to the military. “The case is important for anyone who cares about free speech, a free press, and the Pentagon Papers principle,” he argued.

This development comes as a Metro police lieutenant accused a whistleblower of discussing the details of the Nashville shooting with various media outlets – including the Tennessee Star.

In this chancery court filing, lieutenant Alfred Arevalo says someone handed him the complete covenant criminal investigative case file in November.

Lt. Arevalo says he then handed the hard drive with the investigative file to the Office of Professional Accountability Lieutenant Garet Davidson to store in a safe.

Lt. Arevalo claims Davidson, who does not work for the department anymore, was the only person at the time who had the key and combination to the locked safe.

Davidson filed a whistleblower complaint with Metro Police, on another matter, alleging misconduct within the office of professional accountability and higher-ups.

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Hale’s writings included disturbing sentiments about the use of violence and revealed how deeply she struggled with her gender identity. “One day this will make more sense,” she wrote. “I’ve left behind more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen.”

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