published Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Chattanooga burglary suspect served four months of six-year sentence

  • photo
    Jarvarres Williams and Jeremichael Nicholson both face charges including: criminal conspiracy, attempted first degree murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated assault in connection to break-in Chattanooga police responded to at 4529 Hancock Road. Contributed photo

  • photo
    Jarvarres Williams and Jeremichael Nicholson both face charges including: criminal conspiracy, attempted first degree murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated assault in connection to break-in Chattanooga police responded to at 4529 Hancock Road. Contributed photo

At age 17, Jeremichael Nicholson shot a 22-year-old man in the abdomen.

He was charged with attempted first-degree murder. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated assault in 2009 and was sentenced to six years in prison, according to Hamilton County court records.

But thanks to a judge's ruling, he served only four months in prison.

"That concerns me," said Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd.

On Tuesday, Nicholson, now 20, was one of three men charged in connection to a residential burglary where guns were pointed at Chattanooga police officers.

All three have prior convictions in Hamilton County, according to court records.

Nicholson was sentenced in October 2009 and was sent two state prisons during his incarceration. Within the first month, he was disciplined when guards found a homemade knife in his cell, according to Tennessee Department of Correction records.

After his conviction, Nicholson's public defender requested and was granted a sentence reduction plus supervised probation "in the interest of justice."

Prosecutors said these filings are more common with younger offenders.

Criminal Court Judge Don Poole, who granted the motion, did not return phone calls for comment on this case or on the issue of sentence reduction.

Nicholson was released in January 2010 from North East Correctional Complex in Mountain City, according to court records. In March he was arrested on cocaine and marijuana charges. His probation was never revoked because the district attorney's office dropped the charges, according to records.

That was his most recent arrest until Tuesday but for traffic charges.

He was with Christopher Upshaw, 25, who has been arrested 16 time since his conviction in 2006 for assaulting a jailer, records show. He received a suspended 11-month, 29-day sentence in that case.

Upshaw, who was armed, was wounded in his face and neck when Officer Philip Moser fired at him Tuesday behind the duplex at 4529 Hancock Road.

Upshaw was taken to Erlanger hospital where he was listed in stable condition. No officers were injured. Moser was placed on administrative leave for seven days, which is standard any time an officer is involved in a shooting. Officer George Forbes, who did not fire, was not placed on leave.

Nicholson told police he went with Upshaw and 22-year-old Jarvarres Williams to serve as a lookout while they ransacked the residence looking for money and crack cocaine, the police report states.

All three face charges of criminal conspiracy, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and aggravated burglary, according to the report.

When Moser and Forbes arrived, they found two armed men fleeing from the rear of the residence. One pointed a gun at officers and police initially thought shots were fired because of bullet holes in the walls. Further investigation revealed the holes were from a prior incident.

All three men were caught shortly after police arrived.

Williams' bond is set at $740,000. His next court date is set for Jan. 17 before General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon.

Nicholson's bond is set at $450,000. His next court date is set for Jan. 17 before General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck.

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