Special Prosecutor Named To Review Deputy's Murder
By Phil Williams
Chief Investigative Reporter
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A special prosecutor has been appointed to review the investigation of the shooting death of Dickson County Sheriff's Deputy Keith Bellar and the possible involvement of other officers.
This follows questions raised by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.
Dickson Police Chief Rick Chandler confirmed Wednesday that DA Dan Alsobrooks had agreed to step aside from his handling of the case and asked the Tennessee District Attorney General's Conference to appoint a special prosecutor.
Cookeville DA Randy York will take over the case and decide what should be done to follow up on the unanswered questions, Chandler said.
Bellar was gunned down last year when he pulled up to a traffic accident that turned out to be a domestic dispute.
This fall, Bellar's widow, Brandi, began hearing from her husband's colleagues that the mentally disturbed shooter, Jayson Eggenberg, may have been the victim of taunting text messages from at least two area officers that pushed him over the edge.
Alsobrooks had refused Brandi Bellar's earlier pleas to reopen the case.
In a letter requesting the special prosecutor, Alsobrooks reiterated his position that "there is currently no criminal offense left to investigate."
But he added that, because of the Bellar family's concerns that the case was not properly investigated, the Dickson police chief Rick Chandler and Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe support the request for someone else to review the case.
"They are completely comfortable with an independent and second look at the facts of the case to determine if there needs to be additional investigation by the TBI," Alsobrooks wrote.
"I am in complete agreement with this approach."
York told NewsChannel 5 Investigates that he has no political connections that would prevent him from an impartial review of the facts.
"What I want to do is start fresh and look at the file," York said. "We'll follow the evidence wherever that may lead us."
Brandi Bellar said she is "cautiously optimistic."