Day 2: Hearing continues to determine future of the Covenant shooter’s writings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Davidson County judge is tasked with deciding whether the Covenant School shooter’s writings will be released to the public.

An attorney representing the Covenant families is expected to start the hearing Wednesday at 10 a.m.

On Tuesday, April 16, Davidson County Chancelor I’Ashea Myles heard both sides of the argument for and against the release of Audrey Hale’s writings during a show-cause hearing.

The Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) discovered the writings in Hale’s home and car after the mass shooting on March 27, 2023.

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One of the arguments made on Tuesday was regarding whether the Covenant shooter had an accomplice in their mission, which is something the police department said is still being looked into over a year later.

However, Doug Pierce, representing Clata Renee Brewer in conjunction with the National Police Association, argued there needs to be evidence that police are actively investigating someone.

Those petitioning for the writings to be made public argue that information regarding the shooter’s mindset could help experts find ways to prevent tragedies like Covenant from happening in the future, and they say they have done ample research to stand behind that.

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Meanwhile, Covenant parents oppose their release, worrying that the writings could inspire future bad actors and retraumatize the students who are just now returning to their main campus for the first time since March 27, 2023.

“They have this expansive and extreme view of public records that frankly, I don’t think the authors of that legislation had in mind, that was about ensuring a good government that was about ensuring that sunlight came into the process when taxpayer resources are utilized, or maybe misappropriated,” said Brent Leatherwood, a father of students at the Covenant School. “It was not about creating a platform for a mass murderer to then go and inspire other future events that will prey on future communities.”

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The investigation is expected to wrap up by July, and at that time, some writings could be released.

Day two of the hearing is set to pick back up at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17 at the Historic Metro Courthouse.

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