LIVELINES: LEGAL CALLS

That Hamilton County teacher accused of holding a group of teenagers at gunpoint has a good chance of winning in court according to his attorney.

Teacher Stacy Swallows was making a citizens arrest and thought a cemetery was being vandalized by the young people.

What actually does this mean and what power does a citizen have over another person when it comes to legal matters?

Attorney Gary Starnes was our guest.

In Tennessee, it has been held that a private citizen has the right to arrest when a felony has been committed and he has reasonable cause to believe that the person arrested committed it. Reasonable grounds will justify the arrest, whether the facts turn out to be sufficient or not. (See Wilson v. State, 79 Tenn. 310 (1833).

Attorney Starnes said this case will be interesting to follow when it comes to making a citizens arrest because a high powered weapon was used.

GARY STARNES

266-7800