BEDFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Bedford County Judge’s son, who is behind bars facing attempted murder charges out of Shelbyville, was out on parole when he committed the crime, according to court records.
Sam Rich is accused of shooting Hannah Grace Perryman in the head at a home Temple Ford Road in the early morning hours of Friday, August 13. Rich was also being sought for questioning for a murder out of West Nashville just hours earlier.
A number of viewers reached out to News 2 wanting to know why the 25-year-old was out of jail to begin with. Looking at public records, it appears as though his father dismissed some charges, but the District Attorney says that is not what happened.
The charges specifically in question are from April 5, 2019; one felony aggravated burglary and another was a misdemeanor theft charge. Both were reportedly dismissed by Sam’s father, Judge Charles Rich.
District Attorney General Robert Carter said that’s because the defendant agreed to wave general sessions court and go directly to circuit court. Therefore, the sessions court case got dismissed.
“The way the case got from general session to circuit court was via criminal information. The criminal information is when a defendant will wave his or her right to be presented to the grand jury and that’s what happened here, so the case goes from general sessions to circuit court directly via the criminal information, and then that general sessions case has to be disposed of so the circuit court case can be handled which is exactly what happened here on the same date,” said General Carter.
Rich was convicted, according to Carter, adding a parole violation in addition to his new charges for the shooting.
Rich served time with the Tennessee Department of Correction, first arriving at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in November of 2019 and paroled from the Turney Center Industrial Complex a few months later, according to a TDOC official.
After serving 30 percent of the sentenced time, an inmate can become eligible for parole and it appears as though that’s what happened in this case, according to Carter who says his office wasn’t involved in Rich’s cases.
Rich was scheduled to be in a Bedford County court Wednesday morning, but it was postponed as they searched for a neutral prosecutor and judge.
The judge was appointed late Wednesday and a new court date has been set for Friday, August 20.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Metro police sent a release saying because of the apparent connection in the shootings in Bedford and West Nashville, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will now take the lead in the murder investigation.