Duo in Meigs patricide case
By Greg Kaylor - ClevelandBanner.com
February 3, 2012
The defendants in a patricide murder case in
Meigs County pleaded guilty and will spend the next 40 years in
According to information provided by Russell
Johnson, district attorney general for the 9th Judicial District,
Jennifer Lee Womac, 38, conspired with James Louis “Louie”
Landers, 46, to kill her father Grady Nichols Jr.
The murder occurred at Nichols’ home while
Womac reportedly went shopping with her stepmother and Landers
posed as a lost hunter asking for directions.
Former Meigs County Sheriff Walter Hickman and
TBI investigators began their investigation Sept. 19, 2009.
Nichols died from a blast from a .410-gauge
shotgun. His body was found on the porch of his home when Womac
and her stepmother returned home.
According to investigators, it was determined
Landers was a suspect. They found blood on the shotgun which was
tied to Nichols.
Landers eventually confessed “to his actions
and implicated Womac.”
Landers then began cooperating with authorities
and a meeting was set up between the conspirators.
According to the report, Hickman hid in a
closet as a “wired” Landers talked with Womac at his apartment
regarding the killing.
Recorded information revealed a substantial
inheritance from the Nichols estate and payment for killing him
could be slowly coming.
“And the money thing, I may have to filter it
to you really slowly, but I promise you that you’ll get every
penny,” Womac said during a meeting with Landers.
Investigators gave their information to the
District Attorney General’s Office and a Meigs County Grand Jury
indicted the two for capital murder.
“Both pled down one level to second-degree
murder, but they pled out of range, meaning they have much longer
than normal sentences. They actually have 40 years to serve in
prison,” said Johnson.
- A Charleston man was arrested on alleged
traffic and narcotics violations after he was reportedly observed
speeding on Stuart Road.
According to an affidavit filed by deputy Paul
Allen of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, Michael Shawn Owens
of an Old Lower River Road address was observed by Lt. Wayne White
of BCSO as White was performing mobile radar.
The vehicle’s speed was reportedly 67 mph in a
posted 50 mph zone.
White stopped the driver of the Dodge truck and
identified him as Owens.
According to the report, White noticed Owens
had an odor of alcohol coming from his person, his eyes were red
and glassy, and his speech slow and slurred.
After asking Owens to perform a field sobriety
test, Owens was searched and he “became extremely nervous,”
according to the report.
Allen said he felt a bulge in one of Owens’
jacket pockets and found a case containing 18 blue suspected
hydrocodone pills and one green hydrocodone pill. The pills had
been wrapped in plastic and placed in the case.
According to the report, a driver’s license
check revealed Owens’ South Carolina license was revoked and he
was also unlicensed in Alabama and Georgia. Owens was given field
sobriety tests and reportedly performed poorly.
Owens was then arrested and charged with DUI,
speeding, driving while suspended, violation of the implied
consent law, and simple possession/casual exchange.
- Tennessee Highway Patrol will be conducting
Driver’s License Roadside Safety Checkpoints in Bradley County
beginning this weekend.
The checkpoints will be set up in random
location in the county.
According to THP officials, checkpoints are an
effective means of recognizing the dangers presented to the
driving public, by motorists who would violate the driver’s
license laws of the state.
All scheduled checkpoints are contingent upon
weather conditions and manpower availability.
Grand jury gets murder case
November 6, 2009
The case against a woman and a man police say
she hired to kill her father was sent to the Meigs County grand
jury on Thursday.
Jennifer Womac, 36, and James "Louie" Landers,
45, were bound over on charges of first-degree murder in the death
of 66-year-old Grady Nichols Jr.
Mr. Nichols was found shot to death on his back
porch on Sept. 19.
The pair were arrested Sept. 25 by Meigs County
"Womac dropped Landers off at her father's,
then left to return later to the scene after her father had been
shot dead by Landers," according to news release from 9th Judicial
District Attorney General Russell Johnson. "Womac then left the
scene to pick Landers up at another location and return him to
The next Meigs County grand jury meets Nov. 23
but the cases have not yet been assigned to that date, said a
courthouse staff member.
Daughter arrested in
September 27, 2009
DECATUR, Tenn. - A second arrest has been made
in the Sept. 19 shooting death of former Athens business owner
Grady Nichols Jr.
Friday night, the victim's daughter -
36-year-old Jennifer Womac of Niota - was taken into custody and
charged with first-degree murder, according to officials. That
followed the arrest earlier in the day of the accused shooter,
James L. Landers of Athens, authorities said.
A release from Ninth Judicial District Attorney
General Russell Johnson stated that Womac was arrested after she
attended the funeral, graveside services and family memorial
service for her father on Friday.
A murder warrant alleges that Womac planned the
slaying of her father along with Landers, and that she drove
Landers to her father's residence on Brickell Ridge Road near
Decatur. After dropping off Landers, she left the scene and
returned after her father had been shot dead by Landers, the
Nichols formerly owned an Athens manufacturing
business and was well-known for his work with local service clubs.