TBI suspends Holly Bobo investigation; severs ties with district

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NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has discontinued their investigation into the Holly Bobo case and the agency has severed ties with the 24th Judicial District at the request of District Attorney Matt Stowe, according to a release from the bureau. Stowe’s office issued a release earlier Wednesday stating he “strongly denies” reports that he initiated the suspension of TBI services. He referred to a Friday meeting in which “professional differences were expressed,” according to the release. In a letter from Stowe sent to TBI Director Mark Gwyn and later faxed to law enforcement heads throughout Stowe’s district, Stowe refers to a Friday meeting with TBI agents that “became unexpectedly heated and somewhat emotional.” The TBI’s announcement came Wednesday evening after reports Tuesday of Stowe having requested the suspension of TBI support for the district. The TBI has confirmed a meeting took place Tuesday but would not say what was discussed. Multiple sources who attended the meeting in Parsons have said Gwyn announced that, at the decision of Stowe, TBI support no longer would be available for agencies in Stowe’s judicial district effective immediately. Stowe sent the letter to Gwyn on Monday “in order to insure there is no confusion” and emphasize he does not want the TBI to withdraw support from the 24th Judicial District. “We certainly regret these unprecedented circumstances playing out in the media,” Gwyn said in the TBI release. “But in a meeting last week, which included 30th District Attorney General Amy Weirich, 28th District Attorney and President of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference Garry Brown, and Wally Kirby, Executive Director of the Conference, Stowe made allegations of misconduct by TBI and other law enforcement agencies, both local and federal,” Gwyn said. “He also repeatedly stated he wanted our Agency to suspend all activities in his district, after which Weirich removed her office‘s resources from the Holly Bobo case.” “Stowe may characterize this as a misunderstanding, but his requests were clear and I wasn’t the only one who heard it,” Gwyn says in the statement. The release goes on to say investigative records and the results from a majority of the evidence submitted in the Bobo case already have been turned over to the district attorney’s office for Stowe’s further investigation, review and prosecution. “The results of pending forensic analysis in the case will be provided in a timely manner,” according to the release. “As of this date and until further notice, TBI personnel will no longer offer comment or information about the Bobo case or any other case originating in the 24th Judicial District.” “As a result of Stowe‘s request, TBI Agents will no longer investigate new cases in the 24th District,” according to the release. “Local law enforcement agencies will be responsible for investigating the incidents in their jurisdictions and will also be responsible for securing and funding forensic analysis for all future cases.” According to the release, Gwyn sent a letter to Stowe on Wednesday to propose a meeting to be facilitated by the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference to discuss the TBI’s role in the 24th Judicial District. “We hope Stowe will help us resolve these issues quickly, so we can get back to the important work of pursuing our core values of truth, bravery and integrity in his district as the state‘s lead law enforcement agency,” Gwyn says in the statement.

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