Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

Judge Blocks Release of Nashville School Shooter’s Manifesto, Citing Copyright Claims

A gavel rests on a judge bench. (The Columbus Dispatch/TNS)
July 05, 2024

A Tennessee judge has ruled that writings left by a 2023 Nashville school shooting suspect are protected by federal copyright laws and cannot be released to the general public.

Chancery Court Judge I’Ashea L. Myles ruled late on Thursday evening that the writings of Audrey Hale—who went armed to the Covenant private Christian grade school in Nashville on March 27, 2023, and who was shot and killed by responding police officers—will not be released to the public after more than a year of litigation on the matter.

Myles’ ruling deals a blow to a group of petitioners, including the Tennessee Star, who had sued for the release of Hale’s writings.

The contents of Hale’s writings have been a focus of public scrutiny, amid indications the shooting suspect was driven to violence by a mix of anti-Christian and pro-transgender sentiments. Hale, a female who identified as transgender and went by the name Aiden, expressed “pure hatred of my female gender,” according to excerpts of Hale’s writings reported by The Tennessee Star.

The Nashville Metropolitan Government opposed the public release of Hale’s writings, as did the Covenant school and various parents within the Covenant school community.

While The Tennessee Star and the other petitioners sought the release of Hale’s writings under the Tennessee Public Records Act, Myles concluded the parents of the shooting victims have an ownership right over Hale’s writings.

“The Parents assert that although they have not sought copyright registration for any such works, their ownership rights prevent disclosure by the Respondent,” Myles explained. “They further assert that Metro’s release of any of the copyright materials pursuant to the TPRA would violate the federal Copyright Act and their exclusive rights under federal law.”

Myles sided with those parents, writing that the TPRA is superseded by federal copyright laws.

Tennessee Star CEO Michael Patrick Leahy has vowed to challenge Myles’ ruling.

“The judge has erroneously accepted a dubious copyright claim made by intervenors who should not have been allowed to intervene in this case in the first place,” Leahy said in a July 5 statement published by his paper.

“The judge’s ruling is clearly not in the public interest and is a subversion of the intent of the Tennessee Public Records Act. We will absolutely appeal,” Leahy added.

This article was originally published by FreeBase News and is reprinted with permission.