Seven men bounty hunters and bail bondsmen have been charged with first-degree murder for killing a man they were pursuing in a case of mistaken identity, reports the Leaf-Chronicle of Clarksville, Tenn. The fatal shooting of Jalen Johnson happened April 23 after a confrontation in a Walmart parking lot in Clarksville. A grand jury that met this week returned multiple indictments against the bounty hunters, including first-degree felony murder. Each is being held on $300,000 bail.
The bounty hunters thought that William Ellis, who has warrants on file, was one of four men in a car with Johnson, police said. But Ellis was not in the car, and none of the men in the vehicle had warrants on file. The seven bounty hunters approached the Nissan at Walmart, then chased it a short distance before two of the men in the car were shot, Johnson fatally. Most of the seven men chasing the car were bounty hunters, and some were bail bondsmen. Generally, bondsmen arrange bond to get detainees out of jail, while bounty hunters are paid to track down and detain people who fail to meet the bond agreement.