Judge To Decide If Nashville School Shooter’s Writings Can Be Release

A Davidson County judge last week appeared ready to side with Nashville police and allow some of the journals and writings of the Covenant School shooter to be released to the public once the investigation was officially closed, the Associated Press reported.

Attorneys for the parents of Covenant School, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, and plaintiffs seeking the immediate release of the records presented their arguments in a two-day hearing before Chancery Court Judge I’Ashea Myles.

In a surprising twist, the attorney representing the parents revealed last Wednesday that they gained legal ownership of shooter Audrey Hale’s writings from her parents and now held the copyright.

The Nashville Police have said Hale’s writings, which were collected during the course of their investigation into the March 2023 shooting are public record but should not be released until after the investigation has formally concluded.

Those seeking to have the writings immediately released include multiple news outlets, a Second Amendment group, and a member of the Tennessee Senate. They argued that since the suspect was shot by police and no other suspects were involved, the case was effectively closed.

Attorneys representing Covenant School, the Covenant Presbyterian Church, and the parents, all insisted in court that Hale’s writings should be kept private under a Tennessee law protecting the privacy of any information related to school security. They argued that releasing Hale’s writings could inspire copycat shooters and threaten the Covenant School’s security.

However, the judge appeared to question that claim, saying any decision based on that kind of broad interpretation of the statute would not survive an appeal.

Eric Osborne, the attorney representing the families of children at Covenant School also argued that releasing the writings would violate the Tennessee Constitution guaranteeing that children had a right to be free of harassment, intimidation, and abuse.

However, the judge noted that the argument was too broad and suggested that Osborne was expecting her to create a “new law.” She said she did not think the law meant for children to be protected from harm “in perpetuity” after an investigation is formally closed.