Man charged with shooting at Carter Co. officers gets new hearing due to audio problems


CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – The man charged with trying to kill several Carter County deputies is getting a new preliminary hearing, all thanks to the county’s past audio recording problems.

A court order shows Criminal Court Judge Stacy Street sent the attempted murder case of Kelly Pitts back to General Sessions Court and scheduled a new preliminary hearing for this Friday. Pitts’ original preliminary hearing occurred in March 2016.

“The tape was not able to be heard well enough by the court reporter to copy a transcript or heard well enough to be listened to,” Assistant District Attorney Janet Hardin said of the reason behind the judge’s decision.

Investigators previously said Pitts shot dozens of rounds during a standoff in December 2015, injuring a deputy.

Our Community Watchdog investigation in July found inadequate recording equipment in General Sessions Court during the original preliminary hearings of Pitts and other defendants.

As we reported in December, the problem also led to a new preliminary hearing in a separate attempted murder case.

After we started asking questions, a judge signed off on upgrades, a year-and-a-half after county commissioners first approved the project. Crews replaced the old audio equipment with new technology in July. Attorneys say there haven’t been problems since.Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.

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