A convicted felon who police charged with attempted murder for shooting his estranged girlfriend at her job was out of jail at the time of the shooting despite not complying with his probation terms.
Henry Talley is also charged with aggravated assault, felony reckless endangerment, order of protection violation and unlawful gun possession by a convicted felon.
Talley is accused of opening fire inside the Visionworks doctor office in Madison, September 4th.
He shot his girlfriend multiple times and grazed one of her coworkers before fleeing the scene and attempting to commit suicide.
Talley's ex-girlfriend and her co-worker survived the attack.
July 15th Talley was convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault second offense.
Despite his lengthy criminal history, including a voluntary manslaughter conviction, the judge sentenced him to 30 days in jail and 11 months 29 days probation.
One of the terms of probation was Talley would attend a 26 week barterer's intervention program.
Nashville's News 2 received a tip that Talley never attended the course and was allowed to stay out of jail.
Bob Greene, executive director, of Metro Nashville's General Sessions Probation office told News 2 that Talley's probation was not revoked because the man said he was unemployed and could not pay for the program.
According to the probation office the program cost on average $25 a week and required a $75 workbook.
“Locking someone up because they don't have the money is not going to solve the problem,” he said. “If you lock them up because they don't have the money, how are they going to get the money?”
The courts do not have a fund to pay for court-ordered programs that defendants can not pay for themselves.
“We have got to be able to help those that can't afford the programs,” Green said. “Hopefully the programs will lead to lifestyle changes and they won't come back into the system.”
Green said the problem is common in his office because people on probation also have court fines, probation fees, attorney fees and sometimes restitution to pay in addition to paying for the court ordered treatment programs.
“Public safety is the number one concern,” he said.
But, domestic violence prevention advocates said the lack of money is just an excuse an abuser can use to avoid treatment.
“Again this goes back to battering behavior and a need to control their situation,” Robin Kimbrough with the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence said. “I could see this Talley person wanting to take control over his victim and using that as an excuse not to pursue the program.”
Kimbrough said in Tennessee batterer intervention programs can accept community service hours in lieu of money so the offender can begin treatment.
It is treatment Kimbrough said is crucial in protecting the batterer's victim.
“These programs emphasis victim safety and offender accountability,” she said. “Its not a therapeutic program but it helps barterer's focus on choices.”
In the General Sessions Probation Office probation officers have changed their policy regarding offenders not starting court-ordered treatment programs.
In the past, the offenders were given 30 days to find a treatment program or prove to the office one was not available.
In light of Talley's case, offenders will now get only 14 days and must prove to the office that the program would not accept them into the program because they could not pay.
“It is important that we get the probationer before the treatment provider to hold the offender accountability,” Green said. “Hopefully the treatment provider will, A, work with them or if they tell us no we will document that and try to send them to another provider.”
Talley remains in jail in lieu of $500,000 bond. He is set to appear in court Friday at 9 a.m. in front of Judge Dianne Turner.