William D. Irwin
Domestic violence worker Druecilla Jimenez feared for her life when an estranged husband allegedly kidnapped her and drove recklessly until freeing her Aug. 18.
Jimenez broke down in tears several times Tuesday when she testified how estranged husband William Dorris Irwin, 40, of 211 Ashmont Lane in Smyrna drove away while she sat in his wife’s car.
Assistant District Attorney Allen Hale asked how she reacted when Irwin wouldn’t let her out of the car.
“I was afraid I was going to die,” Jiminez said.
Once Jiminez was abducted, School Resource Officers locked down Smyrna High School because they feared Irwin might try to kidnap his 16-year-old son from the school. He was later found in Memphis.
After the hearing, General Sessions Court Judge David Loughry sent to the grand jury the cases against Irwin of aggravated kidnapping and reckless endangerment of Jimenez, attempted aggravated kidnapping, stalking and violation of a protection order of Irwin’s wife, Lanena, and theft of his wife’s car.
During her testimony, Jimenez testified she accompanied Lanena Irwin to the Domestic Violence office on Memorial Boulevard to file some paperwork. When they returned to the car, Lanena Irwin noticed the truck was ajar and found her husband inside.
Irwin jumped into the driver’s seat and ordered Jimenez to remain in the car, she said.
Hale asked why she didn’t jump out.
“I couldn’t,” an emotional Jiminez answered. “He jumped in too fast. He screamed at me, ‘don’t get out, don’t get out.’”
While driving erratically and speeding, Irwin drove through traffic, jumping the curb at Northwest Broad Street and Memorial Boulevard.
“I was terrified,” Jiminez remembered, describing how she begged Irwin not to hurt her or kill her.
Irwin promised to release her at the next store but drove on by, causing her to become hysterical.
“I asked him again not to hurt me,” Jiminez said.
Irwin released her before he got to the interstate.
Defense attorney Rob McKinney asked her if she shook his hand and wished him “good luck” when he released her. Jiminez said they shook hands. She described his demeanor as “crazed.”
McKinney asked if she was injured.
“Physically no,” she replied softly.
When McKinney asked if she unhurt except for being scared out of her wits, she replied, “If you call that not being hurt.”
Lanena Irwin testified she told her husband in April she didn’t want to be married anymore. A month later, “I was held against my will in my bedroom one night for three hours.”
She sought help and moved into the Domestic Violence Shelter with her 16-year-old son. They visited Irwin July 4 at their home for an extended family gathering. After the family left, the wife testified he pulled a knife on her and their son. They escaped unharmed.
Lanena Irwin met Jimenez Aug. 18 and drove to the Domestic Violence Program office on Memorial Boulevard. After completing paperwork, the wife noticed her trunk open. She opened the trunk and found her husband crouched in the fetal position.
“I started screaming,” Lanena Irwin said. “He reached for me when he got out of the trunk.”
As she ran toward the Domestic Violence Program office, she heard Jimenez screaming but didn’t turn around. Murfreesboro Police responded.
Jiminez testified earlier surveillance tape showed Irwin crawling into his wife’s car about 5:30 a.m. that morning when parked at the Domestic Violence Shelter.
Detective Tommy Roberts testified he found a starter pistol, recorder and binoculars in Irwin’s car later.
McKinney asked Roberts if Irwin used a deadly weapon in the alleged kidnappings.
“I’m not aware of it,” Roberts replied.
Irwin remains locked up in Rutherford County Adult Detention Center while awaiting the grand jury action in November.