Seven Tennessee men have been charged with first-degree murder after they allegedly opened fire on the wrong car

By Steve Helling
May 04, 2017 05:48 PM
Credit: MCSO

Seven Tennessee men, who work as bounty hunters or bail bondsmen, have been charged with first-degree murder after they allegedly opened fire on the wrong car late last month while they were looking for a fugitive.

Jalen Johnson, a 24-year-old father of three, was shot and killed at the scene in Clarksville, Tennessee, police said. Another man was injured.

The altercation began on April 23, according to authorities, when Johnson and three other men were in a local Wal-Mart parking lot.

According to a charging report obtained by PEOPLE, the bounty hunters thought that a certain fugitive was in the car.

But, according to Clarksville police, the man they sought was not in the car, and none of the men in the vehicle had any warrants on file.

Jonathan Schnepp
William Byles

The confrontation led to a car chase that ended in gunfire, authorities allege. The men inside the vehicle were unarmed.

A grand jury met earlier this week and handed down charges against William Byles, 31; Kenneth Chiasson, 38; Roger West, 31; Jonathan Schnepp, 31; Prentice Williams, 34; Antwon Keesee, 32; and 27-year-old Joshua Young.

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The men have all been charged with a litany of offenses, PEOPLE confirms, including first-degree felony murder, three counts of attempted second-degree murder, three counts of aggravated kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, three counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and employing firearms in commission of a dangerous felony.

Antwon Keesee
Roger West
Prentice Williams
| Credit: MCSO

The men are being held on $300,000 bond.

They have not yet entered pleas, and it’s unclear if any of them have retained attorneys.

Johnson’s family says that they are incensed at the killing and hope justice is served.

“He can’t get out of the casket, so they shouldn’t be able to get out on bond,” Johnson’s uncle, Ronnie Milan, told the Leaf-Chronicle.

As the case against the men continues, the Johnson family is mourning the loss of a man who they say never hurt anyone.

“He was 24 and healthy as a tree,” Milan said, “and now he’s dead and gone.”