Lawyer who stole from dementia patient sentenced - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lawyer who stole from dementia patient sentenced

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.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • A coach's ultimate gratitude

    A coach's ultimate gratitude

    Thursday, November 23 2017 10:18 AM EST2017-11-23 15:18:56 GMT

    On this Thanksgiving: a story of the ultimate gratitude. A life saved, thanks to a selfless act that starts on a high school basketball court in Elton, as KPLC's Britney Glaser reports. 

    More >>

    On this Thanksgiving: a story of the ultimate gratitude. A life saved, thanks to a selfless act that starts on a high school basketball court in Elton, as KPLC's Britney Glaser reports. 

    More >>
  • The Spot Cafe serves up dozens of Thanksgiving meals

    The Spot Cafe serves up dozens of Thanksgiving meals

    Thursday, November 23 2017 7:53 PM EST2017-11-24 00:53:00 GMT
    Source: Christian PiekosSource: Christian Piekos

    Many in Lake Charles found themselves filling their Thanksgiving cravings at the Spot Cafe Thursday - all free of charge. The local restaurant partnered with Wise Tax & Accounting to feed those in Lake Charles who might not have a place to gather on Turkey day. "It feels really good to know that you've been blessed in such a way that you can bless someone else with something as simple as a meal," said LaShawnda Bartie, a volunteer. Volunteers said in years passed,...

    More >>

    Many in Lake Charles found themselves filling their Thanksgiving cravings at the Spot Cafe Thursday - all free of charge. The local restaurant partnered with Wise Tax & Accounting to feed those in Lake Charles who might not have a place to gather on Turkey day. "It feels really good to know that you've been blessed in such a way that you can bless someone else with something as simple as a meal," said LaShawnda Bartie, a volunteer. Volunteers said in years passed,...

    More >>
  • Not cooking for Thanksgiving? Here's a list of places open on Turkey Day

    Not cooking for Thanksgiving? Here's a list of places open on Turkey Day

    Thursday, November 23 2017 6:56 PM EST2017-11-23 23:56:49 GMT
    (Source: pablo)(Source: pablo)

    If you want to go out for a Thanksgiving meal instead of spending the day cooking, try one of these restaurants open on Turkey Day

    More >>

    If you want to go out for a Thanksgiving meal instead of spending the day cooking, try one of these restaurants open on Turkey Day

    More >>
Powered by Frankly