Lawyer who stole from dementia patient sentenced - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Lawyer who stole from dementia patient sentenced

Posted: Updated:
MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

A Nashville attorney has been sentenced to an additional eight years in prison for stealing money from the wards he was supposed to protect.

John E. Clemmons was appointed as the conservator for a Rutherford County man with dementia who was confined to a nursing home. An investigation by the Rutherford County Clerk and Master discovered Clemmons had stolen about $120,000 from the ward, Russell Church.

Clemmons agreed to an eight-year sentence, to be served consecutively, after an 18-year sentence in Davidson County. As part of the agreement, if Clemmons is ever paroled on the Nashville charges, he will come back to Rutherford County to find out whether his eight-year sentence will be served in prison or on probation.

Rutherford Clerk and Master John Bratcher's office discovered the theft.

"I have no sympathy for him," Bratcher said.

Clemmons' defense attorney told the judge that Clemmons had a gambling problem.

"We're defending a man seeking mercy at this point," defense attorney Bob Lynch told the judge.

"Gambling was part of it," Lynch said.

"He was a high roller," Bratcher said. "He used people who were helpless. He used the money of people who were helpless and he had taken an oath to protect."

After Bratcher discovered the Rutherford theft, more victims learned Clemmons had been doing the same thing in Davidson County for nearly 10 years.

Teresa Lyle's mother Nannie Malone was one of his victims.

"If Davidson County had just done their job, like Mr. Bratcher and his office did, we wouldn't be here, now," Lyle said.

Lyle discovered that Clemmons stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from her mother's accounts, while telling the family there was no money to pay for her cancer treatments.

"My mother suffered a lot. I just wanted justice," Lyle said.

The victim in the Rutherford County case was able to get all his money back; Clemmons sold some family land to make restitution.

The Davidson County victims are still trying to recover more than a million dollars Clemmons stole from them.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

  • LOCALLOCALMore>>

  • First lady announcing one-stop job site for vets

    First lady announcing one-stop job site for vets

    Thursday, April 24 2014 1:34 AM EDT2014-04-24 05:34:03 GMT
    By JIM KUHNHENN Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - Aiming to streamline employment resources for people leaving the military, the government is creating an integrated website that can help job-seekersMore >>
    Aiming to streamline employment resources for people leaving the military, the government is creating an integrated website that can help job-seekers create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database of veterans and their spouses for companies to mine for skills and talents.More >>
  • US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

    US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:51 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:51:08 GMT
    By ERIC TUCKER Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department is encouraging nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already servedMore >>
    The Justice Department is encouraging nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars to apply for clemency, officials announced Wednesday.More >>
  • Spacewalking astronauts complete urgent repair job

    Spacewalking astronauts complete urgent repair job

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:39 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:39:06 GMT
    Spacewalking astronauts easily replaced a dead computer outside the International Space Station on Wednesday and got their orbiting home back up to full strength. The two Americans on board, Rick MastracchioMore >>
    Spacewalking astronauts easily replaced a dead computer outside the International Space Station on Wednesday and got their orbiting home back up to full strength.More >>