Macon County Chronicle

Harrison...Not Guilty.

On Monday afternoon, February 14th, triple murder suspect, 29-year-old Charlie Harrison, of Westmoreland, who was charged in the shooting deaths of Jamey Holland, Jessica Danielle Bentle, and Mooesto Retureta was found not guilty on all counts, after the jury deliberated for only three hours.

Harrison was originally arrested on Monday, September 7th, 2008, after the Macon County Sheriffs Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation were both called to the crime scene at a mobile home on Highland Drive, where three people were confirmed dead from apparent gunshot wounds. According to Sheriff Mark Gammons, several people had spent the night partying and after shots were fired, Harrison supposedly left the residence and was apprehended later that afternoon in a convenience store in Bethpage, where he was taken into custody and held without bond in the Macon County Jail. He was later charged with three counts of 1st degree murder and three counts of felony murder.

Jury selection started on Tuesday, February 8th at 9 a.m. and the trial began at 1:00 p.m. that afternoon, with Judge David Durham presiding. Several witnesses were called to testify, but Harrison did not take the stand. A small crowd of mostly family members attended the proceedings and the atmosphere was very subdued. Closing arguments began six days later at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning, February 14th and after deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all six counts around 2:45 p.m.

“I always believed that Charlie was innocent,” said defense attorney Eddie Taylor shortly after the verdict was handed down on Monday afternoon. “We had a great jury that made the right decision but I honestly didn’t know what they were thinking. You can’t ever predict what twelve people are going to do but they listened and paid a lot of attention to every single detail. The victims’ families were very classy and they handled themselves with dignity as did my client’s family. My heart goes out to those three victims families after the terrible ordeal they have suffered, but this time I think the jury made the right decision.”