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Former DHS SRO Accepts Plea Deal for 8 Years in Prison – w/Clarification

Former Dresden High School SRO (School Resource Officer) and Weakley County Sheriff’s Deputy Kristen Childress.

By Shannon Taylor
Enterprise Associate Editor
Former Dresden High School Resource Officer and Weakley County Sheriff’s deputy, Kristen Taylor Childress, pleaded guilty to her charges in the 27th Judicial District Circuit Court, waiving her right to a jury trial and an appeal by accepting a plea deal Monday morning. Childress was present with her attorney, Kent Gearin of Martin.
Circuit Court Judge Jeff Parham stated that Childress’ judgement can also be used against her later for enhancement if she were to commit another crime at a future date.
For her charge of Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure, a Class B Felony, Childress will serve 8 years in Tennessee Department of Corrections and must register as a sex offender for 10 years upon her release, which will be approximately 2031-32, depending upon the start of her sentence. She is ordered to serve 100 percent of her sentence.
Her charge of Aggravated Statutory Rape was dismissed. A no-contact order between Childress and the victim was also entered as part of her plea deal. Childress was credited for one day served in jail.
Childress’ charges stem from an inappropriate relationship with a Dresden High School student, which she admitted to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old juvenile, both digitally and orally, sometime in the late summer or early fall of 2022. Childress is 28 years old.
Other evidence came forward shortly after Childress’ arrest of text messages between her and a different student where she attempted to offer said student a place to stay and gave the student her personal number. The student’s cousin said the text messages from her were “creepy and predatory” and that the “messages came unsolicited.” The messages were given to investigators to help in the investigation of Childress.
Shortly after Childress’ arrest in February, a Dresden High School secretary was reportedly terminated from her position under Randy Frazier’s tenure as Director of Weakley County Schools. Frazier refused to comment on her termination, but two sources (one source who worked within the school) stated that the secretary and Childress were seen with Childress’ victim at a local restaurant drinking alcohol with the student, where they were seen by parents who reportedly told the school about the incident and the secretary was later terminated from her position. The secretary refused to comment about the situation.
Later, on March 3, a Dresden High School softball coach, was given a letter by DHS Principal Scott Killebrew, which stated, “an investigation has been opened regarding an unethical and inappropriate relationship with a student. In light of testimony of the witnesses spoken with today, it has been determined that you be placed on leave for the remainder of the investigation. The leave includes suspension of all school activities.”
The letter further stated that the coach was not allowed to be present on the school campus. An investigation was opened into the incident by the Weakley County Sheriff’s office, but Sheriff Terry McDade said the investigation concluded, adding, “We never found enough to charge him with any crime.” The coach was not rehired by the school, according to information obtained through a records request.
An Freedom Of Information Act records request was given to Frazier and the school board for termination records of faculty for the past three years to see if there were other employees of the school terminated for similar incidents, but Frazier did not comply with the request.

Clarification & Amplification

In the news article titled, “Former DHS SRO Accepts Plea Deal for 8 Years in Prison,” published in the Aug. 17, 2023, edition of this newspaper, a reference to a “Dresden High School softball coach,” who was given a letter by the school’s principal, Scott Killebrew, notifying the person in question on March 3 of an investigation into an unethical and inappropriate relationship with a student, was not a member of the high school’s softball coaching staff, as noted in the article from information obtained through the TSSAA website. The person in question is Luke Downard, the school’s former short-term baseball coach and non-certified employee of the school system. A records request did verify the coach was not rehired by the school after the investigation.

Further, in the same article, the last sentence reads, “A Freedom Of Information Act records request was given to Frazier and the school board for termination records of faculty for the past three years to see if there were other employees of the school terminated for similar incidents, but Frazier did not comply with the request.”

To clarify, the reporter was referencing a public records request she sent to former Weakley County Director of Schools Randy Frazier and a school board member in the Spring of this year when she was employed with the Weakley County Press. She was asked to halt investigations involving the Weakley County School System by The Press’ publisher and owner, Victor Parkins, after he met with Randy Frazier following her public records request. The request for personnel records was never honored and the pursuit of those records was terminated.

1 Comment

  1. Wade Pickett on September 1, 2023 at 7:57 am

    Seems like there still a cover-up of something because Randy Frazier didn’t comply with needed records and he even went as far as talking to the Weakly Cnty. Press supervisor who stopped the said reporter from investigating any further on this matter. Anybody can see there is more to this story and Randy Frazier knows it!
    Question is, why doesn’t he want all the truth to be brought to the surface?

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