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Chairman Recommended No Parole for Swatzell

If the Tennessee Board of Parole follows the recommendation of acting chair Gary Falcoun, convicted murderer Chad Swatzell will remain behind bars until at least July of 2024 for the shooting death of Perry County resident Carolyn Kilpatrick on August 29, 1988.

Following another parole hearing last week—the second one this year—Board member G=Falcoun recommended that Swatzell be denied parole. The remaining six members of the Board will review documents and testimony and make their decision in the coming weeks.

Kilpatrick’s daughter, Valerie Lindsey, again traveled to Nashville for the parole hearing, accompanied by former Sheriff Thomas Ward, Linden Mayor Wess Ward, and Sheriff Nick Weems; All four made statements at the hearing.

Former Sheriff Ward noted that Swatzell’s sentence was not enough, that instead of having to serve 25 years before being parole eligible, it should have been 51. Ward asked, “Who is to say he [Swatzell] won’t do it again?” Ward pointed out that Swatzell has been in a “controlled environment” for many years, and that the “world out here is different than what he knows.” Ward said Kilpatrick’s family received the life sentence and they “did nothing wrong.”

Mayor Ward asked that the Board “protected the people you were appointed to serve.” He made the point that Swatzell is from Kentucky, that he drove to Perry County and killed a Tennessee citizen, and that the Board should not “serve someone from another state.”

Sheriff Weems drew from experience in his comments, arguing that at every parole hearing “we hear about Chad’s good behavior and that he’s a model inmate,” but the Sheriff said “some inmates need constant correction” to maintain that behavior.

“We lock them up, get them on meds, and six months later they are out and back in our jails,” the Sheriff said, calling mental health issues in Tennessee at a “crisis.”

“Who will insure Swatzell …………………


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