A prominent Nashville contractor was arrested for domestic violence twice in two days.
Authorities arrested 37-year-old David Chase, the Vice President of D.F. Chase, one of the largest construction firms in Tennessee, Sunday.
According to an affidavit, Chase was taken into custody after he reportedly assaulted his girlfriend in the home they share on Elliston Place.
In a bond document obtained by News 2, the magistrate marked the box in the paperwork indicating a 12-hour hold on Chase.
However, General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland reportedly got involved and called the magistrate.
The magistrate then crossed out the 12-hour hold and instead wrote in the margin “not domestic relationship per Judge Moreland.”
Chase was released after spending less than three hours in police custody.
Police affidavits state that Chase returned to his home where he pushed his girlfriend down and started to choke her.
Authorities say he threatened her by saying, “You ruined my life. I’m going to kill you. I’m going to throw you out the balcony.”
The woman, who was not aware that Chase was coming back early, managed to escape and call 911.
Metro police arrested Chase on new felony charges the following day.
Again the magistrate had the option of keeping him in jail for 12 hours, but Chase was released in less than three.
No clear reason was listed on the bail document as to why.
When News 2 spoke with Judge Moreland he said,”I take a great deal of interest in protecting domestic violence victims. Hindsight is 20/20. I hate what happened. Other than the victim, I feel as bad as anyone. This breaks my heart. In retrospect, I made a mistake.”
The judge added that he made his decision based on information that was presented to him that this case did not meet the criteria for a domestic assault.
Moreland went on to tell News 2 as soon as he found out Chase had been arrested again, he immediately contacted Chase’s attorney, Brian Lewis, and asked for the contractor to turn himself in to police.
Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson issued this statement:
“I am very concerned that 12-hour holds for this particular defendant were waived after two separate domestic violence arrests on Sunday. I have expressed my dismay to Judge Moreland, as the arrest warrant affidavits in both matters clearly articulated that, indeed, alleged acts of domestic violence were involved. In my view, the 12-hour hold policy should have been enforced, as we had promised the victim. As I stated in my message to Judge Moreland, if 12-hour holds are going to be routinely waived in the future, there is a need for the police department to inform victims of domestic assault that this promise cannot be relied upon and that they should act accordingly.”
Well-known defense attorney Jim Todd says the 12-hour cooling off period is discretionary.
“There is a statute that says a 12-hour holding period can be in place if the magistrate feels the victim is in jeopardy from the defendant. That can be waived it is not mandatory. It’s discretionary and it is up to the judge to decide, and I don’t fault judge Moreland or any commissioner for waiving it if they feel it is appropriate. I think the problem with this case is there is not an order of protection for the victim, specifically an order of protection,” Todd explained.
An official with the Davidson County District Attorney’s office says they have made an inquiry into the judge’s involvement in the case.
They are reportedly pushing to revoke David Chase’s bond on this arrest and his pending DUI charges.