Nephew of Tennessee Congressman found fatally shot in Nashville, suspect arrested after manhunt

Source: MEGA; Tennessee Bureau of Investigations

Aug. 16 2021, Published 5:54 p.m. ET

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A relative of a Tennessee state representative was murdered and his girlfriend shot and critically wounded earlier the same day, police said.

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On Aug. 13, a Nashville Metro Utility Systems water crew found James William Warner,22, dead in a Nashville street. Police believe the killer drove Warner, who is the nephew of Republican Rep. Todd Warner, to the location where his body was later found and then fatally shot him, WKRN-TV reported.

Two days later, on Aug. 15, authorities took Samuel Earl Rich, 25, into custody in connection with the shooting after a multi-day manhunt.

Rich is accused of first shooting Warner’s girlfriend, who was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, theBedford County Sheriff’s Office said.

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He then allegedly shot and killed Warner.

Rich is being held without bond on suspicion of murder and attempted murder although he has not officially been charged.

“Will was larger than life and never met a stranger,” his mother, Christy West Warner, told the television station.

Tennessee Rep. Warner noted his nephew was a “typical country boy.”

“It’s just a tragic ending to something that should’ve never happened,” the politician said.


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