The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office returned a weapon to the man who was shot May 6 in a confrontation with a sheriff’s deputy three years after investigating a previous domestic dispute at his West Jefferson Pike home, according to the sheriff’s office.
Jeff Newton, of 5481 West Jefferson Pike, reportedly remains hospitalized after being shot by Sheriff’s Deputy David Ashburn during a confrontation a week and a half ago when he pointed his gun at the deputy.
Sheriff’s deputies first went to the home of Jeff and Tracey Newton on Feb. 23, 2011, to investigate a domestic disturbance but made no arrests. At that time, they took a 16-gauge Mossberg bolt-action shotgun for safekeeping and entered it into evidence, according to sheriff’s office spokeswoman Lisa Marchesoni.
The weapon was returned Feb. 3 to Newton by the property evidence clerk after dispatchers checked his criminal history through the National Crime Information Center and found a clear criminal history, Marchesoni reported.
Sheriff Robert Arnold did not order the gun to be returned to Newton, according to Marchesoni.
The night of the 2011 domestic incident, Deputy Joseph McCool reported he saw no signs of an assault or disarray in the home. He reported he explained warrant procedures to Mrs. Newton, who declined to press charges.
TBI is investigating the May 6 shooting incident, which took place around 10 that night when deputies were called to a dispute between the Newtons, according to TBI. Mrs. Newton told deputies he left the home and went into the woods with his shotgun.
As they searched for him, he emerged from the woods and pointed the weapon at Ashburn, who fired and hit him once in the torso, according to TBI.
Newton was treated first at the scene, then flown by LifeFlight to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition.