Ricky Lunsford

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Former Sheriff Formally Charged in Weekend Shooting

By Joe Sullivan
By jsullivan@wbbjtv.com

Former Henderson County Sheriff and Madison County sheriff's deputy Ricky Lunsford is charged with attempted murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated domestic assault and four counts of aggravated reckless endangerment.

He entered a plea of not guilty, Monday in Jackson City Court and remained free on $200,000 bond.

"The bond I thought was set excessively high, however the court looked at all the factors and determined that to be a reasonable amount that's what we live with," said Attorney Mark Donahoe.

According to the state warrant, at 12:20 Sunday morning Ricky Lunsford put a handgun to the back of his estranged wife as she sat inside The Tap Bar and Grill on Old Hickory Boulevard and forced her into the parking lot.

Once outside, the report shows she screamed and ran away. Several shots were fired in her direction, she was not hit, several cars were.

"I think this case was very violent and the fact that it was an attempt on a life and innocent bystanders could have been killed and that's something we just can't tolerate here in the city of Jackson," said Lt. Tyreece Miller

Lunsford, who has a gun carry permit was ordered to turn in all of his guns and told not to contact his estranged wife.

The former sheriff, who most recently worked in Iraq as a contract security officer, was also ordered to hand over his passport.

"He has an extensive police background that's why very clearly I keep saying there certainly is more to the story than meets the eye and there is another side of it," Donahoe said.

"Mr. Lunsford is a former law enforcement, but we are going to treat the case as we would any case," Miller said.

According to his attorney, Lunsford is not a flight risk.

Some have speculated that Lunsford showed a badge has he made his way into the bar, Sunday morning, but investigators said that is not true. However, they said Lunsford had a gold, six-point star wallet badge with the words 'Henderson County Sheriff' inscribed on it.

Jackson police said he did not use it to commit any alleged crime.
Lunsford is scheduled back in court on May 31.