Judge talks about being first called in McNair investigation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – When Metro police released their case summary on the deaths of slain Titans star Steve McNair and girlfriend Sahel Kazemi, one name stood out.

It was the name of a Metro General Sessions judge, who was called even before police were in the early afternoon hours on July 4.

Steve McNair scene
Authorities outside of the downtown Nashville condo where Steve McNair and his girlfriend Sahel Kazemi were found shot to death.

Judge Casey Moreland received a call from longtime friend Wayne Neeley, a man he’s known for 15 years.

Neeley placed the call just minutes after discovering the bodies of his friend, McNair, and Kazemi and after he phoned Robert Gaddy, a longtime friend of McNair’s.

“I really feel that he was unsure that it was Steve,” Judge Moreland said Friday of his friend, who, with McNair, co-rented the Lea Avenue condo where the bodies were discovered.

The judge said Neeley had planned to take McNair to a Little League gathering in Franklin that afternoon.

“I asked him where he was and I don’t think he really knew where he was.  He said, ‘I am going home’,” Judge Moreland recalled.

The judge said he quickly advised his friend to return to the condo, call police and tell investigators about everything he had first touched.

“At the time, I did not really think I was part of the investigation and Wayne called me later that night and we were talking, and he was still very upset, and he kept telling me, ‘I am not going to get you involved in this, I am not going to get you involved in this’ and I said, ‘Look, its okay, just tell them everything’,” he continued.

Steven McNair scene
McNair and Kazemi’s condo on Lea Street near Second Avenue in downtown Nashville.

On the Monday following McNair’s death, Judge Moreland returned to the courtroom and as he suspected, was paid a visit by investigators.

“I knew they were coming and that was just something, a loose end they needed to tie up,” he explained, adding the “loose end” was quickly tied up.

In the months since McNair’s highly-publicized murder-suicide, Judge Moreland said Neeley has kept “a thick skin” but the murder of his close friend and the ongoing publicity the case has received has taken a toll on him.

“Wayne said something to me the other day that keeps running over and in my mind, that every time he sees a news story about it, he thinks that Steve McNair’s children have seen this every day on the news continually, continually, continually,” he said.

Judge Moreland said Neeley even lost his job because of his involvement.

“It is my understanding they did not like the publicity, which is sad because all he did was find the body of a friend,” sighed Moreland.

The judge said not just Neeley, but a lot of innocent people have suffered because of the McNair-Kazemi suicide.

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