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Johnson City man's reckless endangerment charges dismissed

Becky Campbell • Dec 6, 2018 at 8:05 PM

An arrest that was likely one of the darkest hours for a Johnson City man last year, resulting in him being charged with firing a gun when police entered his house to check his welfare, was dismissed earlier this week in a Washington County courtroom.

Tyler Tetrick, of Tetrick Funeral Homes and president of the Heritage Family Cemetery, was charged with three counts of felony reckless endangerment after he fired a weapon when police entered his home in December 2017. Officers were there to check Tetrick’s welfare after a relative called with concerns about him.

Tetrick told police he wanted to die and had taken Xanax in an attempt to kill himself and that he had “fired his handgun at the wall in an attempt to keep officers out of the room because he just wanted to die. Tetrick stated he had not expected officers to arrive as quickly as they did and that he didn’t want them coming in the room and stopping his death.”

District Attorney General Ken Baldwin made the decision prior to a May court hearing that if Tetrick agreed to get help for the personal issues that led to the incident, the charges would be dismissed. Baldwin said he made the decision based on the evidence, Tetrick’s exemplary background and his ties and contributions to the community.

Tetrick’s attorney, Steve Finney, said his opinion was that there was no crime committed by Tetrick firing the gun, and Baldwin agreed. The single shot went through Tetrick’s bedroom wall just above a baseboard and lodged in the wall of the adjoining bathroom.

Both attorneys said there was no intent on Tetrick’s part to hurt the officers.

On Thursday, Finney told the Johnson City Press that his client was doing well now and headed in a positive direction. Earlier this year, Tetrick posted on his Facebook profile that he was grateful the police came to his home that day.

“May 13-19 is designated as "National Police Week" — I would like to pay special recognition to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Please join me in recognizing, thanking, and appreciating all of our officers, and remembering those who have fallen in service. I personally owe my life to the bravery of local law enforcement and I will forever be grateful to them for saving my life.”

Tetrick did not want to speak to the Press directly about how the incident saved his life, but his attorney said Tetrick is forever grateful and he never intended any harm to officers.

Baldwin said he might be criticized for his decision to dismiss the charges, but “it was the right thing to do.”

Tetrick’s case will also be expunged, so there will be no public recording the incident occurred.

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