Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Inmates graduate from technical course; mother upset her son's suspected killer is allowed in it

Six Tennessee inmates completed a unique program that in a short span of time teaches them skills they can use on the outside. But the mother of a murdered man is angry that the her son's suspected killer was allowed to take the class, saying he shouldn't be given that kind of opportunity, reports Mark Bell for the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, near Nashville. (Photo by Rutherford County Sheriff's Office: Inmate John Lamendola, far left, takes an electricity class.)

The beginning electricity class was the first higher-education course taught at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center, reports the locally owned Murfreesboro Post. The families of inmates paid $300 for the course. Sheriff Robert Arnold said "inmates who completed the class learned a skill to get a decent-paying job and the ability to take care of their families." (Read more)

One of those inmates, John Lamendola, is suspecting of murdering Kevin Barrett, and assaulting and kidnapping his girlfriend. Barrett's mother, Barbara Thompson was shocked when she read the Post story, reports Bell. Thompson said of the sheriff, “I just don’t think he should be receiving praise in the newspaper for allowing someone accused of a capital murder to participate in this type of program."

Arnold defended his decision to include Lamendola, saying he is a pre-trial inmate under the jail’s classification system, and is “eligible to be released on bond, although he has been unable to make bond. If he was out on bond, he could be attending school or working a job." State Rep. Mike Sparks also defended the decision, saying thyat if “We could use this man and get him working in the jail doing maintenance, then I think that is also a cost savings.” (Read more)

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