Tullahoma, Tennessee, police chief pleads no contest to evidence tampering, resigns

Tullahoma, Tennessee, police chief pleads no contest to evidence tampering, resigns

April 23rd, 2019 by Staff Report in Breaking News

A Tullahoma, Tennessee, police chief who pleaded no contest to an evidence tampering charge has resigned.

News outlets report Paul Blackwell resigned Monday as Tullahoma police chief after entering the plea in Coffee County Circuit Court. Under the plea, Blackwell doesn't admit guilt, but doesn't dispute the charge.

Paul Blackwell.

Paul Blackwell.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Prosecutor Jennings Jones declined to say what led to the charges against Blackwell.

News outlets report Blackwell received a four-year suspended sentence with deferred judgment, meaning he will serve no jail time if he abides by the terms of his probation.

He had previously been investigated by the TBI related to a recent traffic crash involving his son.

Susan Niland, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in December that the investigation was launched at the request of 14th Judicial District Attorney General Craig Northcott.

"The complaint stems from his office's handling of the investigation of a motor vehicle crash involving the chief's son in November," Niland said.

Blackwell had been police chief since June 2007 and has worked in law enforcement since 1982, according to his biographical information on the city of Tullahoma's website. He has worked at police and sheriff's departments in Norman, Oklahoma, and Hillsborough County, Florida, respectively, and at the Coffee County Sheriff's Department for 14 years prior to becoming Tullahoma's chief.