Sheriff: Nashville criminal justice advocate planted loaded guns around new jail facility

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A self-described criminal justice advocate planted loaded guns and additional ammunition inside the new downtown detention center as part of an “evil plan,” Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said Wednesday.

During a news conference, Hall said Alex Friedmann, 50, had been arrested Tuesday night on a felony charge of vandalism. He was placed in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction and held at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution on a $2.5 million bond.

“The bond amount, in this case, is one indication of the seriousness of his actions,” the sheriff explained.

Friedmann had been arrested Jan. 4 on charges of attempted burglary, evidence tampering and possession of burglary tools. Investigators said he broke into the new downtown detention facility dressed as a construction worker.

According to Hall, an investigation involving the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Police and the District Attorney’s Office determined the burglary was part of an “evil plan,” which included planting various weapons, tools and equipment throughout the facility.

“What disturbed me most is not that this was about an escape. It was also about loss of life,” Hall said. “Friedmann, a convicted felon and a self-described criminal justice advocate, planted loaded guns with additional ammunition inside this detention center.”

The facility was set to open in April, but the sheriff said that the date will be moved.

Following Hall’s news conference, Metro Police released surveillance images of three suspected accomplices in the jail vandalism.

  • Alex Friedmann accomplice
  • Alex Friedmann accomplice
  • Alex Friedmann accomplice

Friedmann’s attorney issued the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:

“I have been representing Alex Friedmann since his arrest for attempted burglary in January. It is important to clarify that the new vandalism charge stems from alleged conduct arising last year, and not any recent actions occurring after his previous arrest. Mr. Friedmann surrendered himself immediately after being advised of the new charge last night. The keys were returned to the Sheriff’s Office several weeks ago through counsel. I am currently unable to comment on any of the factual allegations. Mr. Friedmann is presumed innocent and will respond through the appropriate legal processes.”

Benjamin K. Raybin, Raybin & Weissman, P.C.

Anyone with information on their identities is urged to contact Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.

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