TBI resumes activities in Hardin County, 24th Judicial District

 UPDATE, Dec. 19– As a result of thorough conversations Thursday, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resumed its activities in the 24th Judicial District, as its District Attorney General has requested a special prosecutor to handle the Holly Bobo case in his place, the DA and TBI said in a joint news release.

 “We value our relationship with Stowe and are thankful we were able to reach a compromise on these issues,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “We value our relationship and our service to the people of the 24th Judicial District and look forward to preserving the integrity of the cases we pursue in those five counties. We are committed to our relationship with those local law enforcement agencies and hope to do what we can to provide the excellent investigative and forensic resources to which they’re accustomed.”

In conjunction with the resolution of these issues, District Attorney General Matthew Stowe has submitted a request to the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference for the appointment of a pro tem to proceed with the prosecution of the three defendants charged in the Holly Bobo case.

  “I am extremely pleased to announce the resolution of these issues,” said Stowe. “I have the utmost respect and appreciation for the TBI and the services they provide to the people of this great state. Personally, I would like to thank Director Gwyn for his continued cooperation and his dedication to the safety of the citizens of this district. We are all focused on justice for victims and survivors, and I look forward to a successful, professional relationship with TBI staff and Agents.”

  Dec. 17– District Attorney Matt Stowe is denying published media reports indicating that he initiated the suspension of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s support with all ongoing and future cases in the 24th Judicial District, which includes Hardin County. 

Stowe, in a news release today, said he expects the TBI to continue to work with law enforcement agencies across the district in all facets of criminal investigations as requested by these individual agencies.

He said he reiterated those expectations to the TBI in a communication Tuesday, following a private meeting with TBI Director Mark Gwyn and others on Dec. 12 in which “professional differences were expressed.”

According to Stowe, in response, Gwyn formally communicated his intent today to suspend TBI involvement in any cases in the 24th District until such time as all parties could meet with the Attorney General to discuss and resolve the matters at hand.

Among other TBI services, the TBI lab routinely processes evidence for law enforcement agencies in Hardin County. Those local agencies will have to hire and pay private labs to do that work if access to TBI services are unavailable.

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