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Dunaway: Illegal Activity Present After Livingston PD Did Not Investigate Domestic Abuse Allegation

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Dunaway: Illegal Activity Present After Livingston PD Did Not Investigate Domestic Abuse Allegation

District Attorney Bryant Dunaway said he believes there was illegal activity after Livingston Police did not investigate a domestic assault allegation involving former Alderman Chris Speck.

Dunaway sent a report from a TBI investigation to the Board of Aldermen in a letter on Monday. However, Dunaway said that because the statute of limitations has passed, no criminal charges will be filed.

Sergeant Bruce Matthews of the Livingston Police Department provided Dunaway with police video footage from the incident that occurred in May 2019 involving Speck, his wife, and their 15-year-old daughter.

Dunaway said he believed the footage was serious enough to involve the TBI.

“One can speculate, but I really can’t comment on what’s going on in the minds of others,” Dunaway said. “Other than to say it should have been investigated and I didn’t find any evidence, and the TBI didn’t find any evidence that it was investigated or reported to the Department of Children’s Services, which is a violation of the law.”

The letter included details involving the situation.

“The video depicts Ms. Wendy Speck sitting in the passenger seat of a Livingston Police patrol car speaking with a female officer. Ms. Speck reports to the officer that she had been involved in a domestic assault case involving her husband, Chris Speck. Ms. Wendy Speck asks the officer to call then-Police Chief Greg Etheredge. The video captures a conversation between then Chief Etheredge and Ms. Wendy Speck. In that conversation, Ms. Speck discloses to Etheredge that a domestic violence incident had happened that night involving her husband, Chris Speck. She discloses to Etheredge that there is a hole in the wall in ‘the carriage house’ where Speck had put their daughter’s head through the wall.”

The report states that Etheredge is heard on the video instructing the officer to take Ms. Speck to his personal residence.

Dunaway said the investigation started in June 2022. Former Alderman Chris Speck resigned from his position on July 12th of this year. In his letter of resignation to Mayor Curtis Hayes, Speck said, “My wife and I are currently in the process of selling our home in Livingston and moving outside of the city limits this month.”

Several interviews were conducted in the investigation, including with Mayor Curtis Hayes and now Interim Chief Ray Smith. In the letter, Smith said he recalls that he was in charge of the shift that night because Etheredge was out of town. The report states Hayes instructed Smith to send an officer to the area of the Speck home, which he did.

“I don’t have any indication that current Chief Ray Smith had any knowledge of these specific allegations, that wasn’t revealed in any investigation,” Dunaway said. “So I don’t have any concern there. The current chief fully cooperated when this incident came to light and spoke freely with this office and there is no indication that he was involved or was aware of the specific allegations.”

In the letter, Hayes said he remembered the incident from three years ago and was aware that there was a video. Hayes indicated that he received a call from Chris Speck, went to the Speck home, and observed Wendy Speck in the front seat of an LPD vehicle and was “hysterical.” Hayes stated he did not recall having a conversation with Speck that night.

The report states that TBI agents attempted to interview members of the Speck family, but they declined interviews.

In the report, it was indicated that two criminal offenses were committed, including Official Misconduct and failure to report suspected child abuse.

“Ultimately all elected officials are answerable to the voters and in the instance of some of the other situations in Livingston and certain the City Council of Livingston is too,” Dunaway said. “The allegations here are specific to former Chief Etheredge and former Alderman Speck, they appear to be the subject of this inquiry.”

“Specifically, my biggest concern is former Chief Etheredge’s failure to investigate and take action on those allegations,” Dunaway said. “And frankly, I can’t speak to whether the allegation is true, it wasn’t investigated. I can only tell you the report was made and that the report was serious enough to be investigated and it wasn’t.”


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