Nephew of Tennessee state representative found murdered in West Nashville

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SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 22-year-old Shelbyville man was found murdered in West Nashville on the same day his girlfriend was shot and critically wounded in Bedford County.

Metro police said the body of James William Warner, known as “Will,” was located Friday morning by a Metro Water crew at the end of 35th Avenue North.

Detectives believe Warner was driven to the area and shot to death, then left in the street by his killer.

Will Warner (Courtesy: Christy West Warner)

“Will was larger than life and never met a stranger,” his mother, Christy West Warner told News 2, adding that she is thankful for “the kind comments and prayers” from the community.

Warner is the nephew of Tennessee state lawmaker, Todd Warner, who represents Marshall, Franklin, Lincoln and Marion counties.

Metro police issued an alert Saturday afternoon and said 25-year-old, Samuel Earl Rich was wanted for questioning in Warner’s murder.

Samuel Earl Rich (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

Rich had already been added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Most Wanted list after being identified by investigators as the suspect in a Bedford County shooting.

The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office said Rich shot Warner’s girlfriend Friday morning on Temple Ford Road. She was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with serious injuries, according to investigators.

Rich is wanted on charges of attempted murder and theft out of Bedford County. As of Sunday morning, he has not been charged in Warner’s murder.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the TBI at 800-TBI-FIND.

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