It today’s heated political climate, most small companies are careful about even having the appearance of endorsing or condoning anything controversial. A handful of local East Nashville small business owners are proving themselves to be an exception to that rule. If you were an event venue, or a beer brewer, or even a food truck, would you donate your time, money, sales and/or product to someone’s legal fund that was already convicted of ATT NEGLECT OF A CHILD (UNDER 8/DISABLED), and is on their 2nd probation violation under that specific charge? That’s exactly what some are saying happened this weekend, at the ‘F**k the System’ benefit show for Hong Meow, held Saturday night in East Nashville at The East Room.
In March, we covered the story of Kirin Haller, known to most around East Nashville as her moniker ‘Hong Meow’. It’s a story of a girl that was charged with several felonies in 2009 – all related to child abuse/neglect – and by way of a plea bargain was negotiated down by pleading GUILTY to ATT AGGREVATED NEGLECT OF A CHILD (UNDER 8/DISABLED). Haller (aka Hong Meow) ended up with 8 years of felony/state probation, which is currently slated to end 08/12/2017 – just under a year from now. Other than paying her fees and fines (she still owes $11,472.75 according to the county clerk’s office) All was going well until she violated her probation for the first time back in May of 2014, when the judge noted on the case “Probation Violation conceded & sustained, reinstated on probation, there should be no other issues with reporting or def. will have consequences”.
Now it appears that several weeks ago, Haller was cited/charged( Case: SCE217972) with ‘No Driver’s License’, which appears to have been dismissed – but this also appears to have generated yet another Probation Violation and re-opened her Att Child Neglect Case (see ‘reopened’ on attached criminal history) , for which she has an appearance date set for 09/15/2016 in front of Judge Fishburn.
All of this has left her with a current balance of $11,472.75 in court costs that she owes to the state, and it would appear Kirin Haller is trying to raise the money, by throwing a party – though it’s unclear if any of this money will go towards what she actually owes the state, given that she still owes over 11K since 2009.
When you work at a bar, and regularly put on shows and events in East Nashville, what do you do when you need more money to help pay your legal fees? You throw a party, of course – and that’s exactly what happened. A few days prior to the event, which happened this past Saturday, longtime boyfriend of Haller, Jonathan Myers, posted a notice looking for people to help out with the event, which was billed to help Haller with her ‘legal fees’. As the pair both work at The East Room, according to the event details, that seemed to be the obvious first choice for a location, and The East Room stands behind Kirin Haller and fully supported her using the venue to help pay her legal fees that all initially stemmed from her CONVICTION of an ‘ATT AGG NEGLECT OF CHILD (UNDER 8/OR DISABLED)’. When asked about their support of helping to raise legal fees for such a serious charge to which guilt was already admitted, The East Room responded:
Kirin is one of the hardest working people in the community. She has done so much for so many people and we are thankful for her. The East Room does not support the intentions of this “article.”
Others that offered their support in helping to raise money included an employee of Yazoo Brewing Company, and Death From a Bun. Even though Seth Green’s profile lists his job as ‘production team’ at Yazoo Brewing, and it appears that he was making a gesture on behalf of the company to the benefit to help raise money for legal fees, it’s possible he was intending to purchase the kegs and donate them on his own behalf. Yazoo’s founder responded to our inquire below.
Linus Hall, founder of Yazoo Brewing, responded to our inquiry with the following statement to EastNashville.News:
“I have no idea what you are talking about. We are not knowingly supporting anyone by that name, by donation of beer or in any manner that I am aware of”
Death from a Bun confirmed they were donating 10% of their sales to the legal fund / benefit for Haller.
There is no word on how much money was raise for Kirin Haller (aka Hong Meow)’s ‘legal fund’ – or how much of that money is being used for prior legal expenses, or current lawyer costs for the violation of probation charges. It’s also unclear why a venue and food truck, and others, would be willing to attach their name to a legal fund of someone that was already convicted of Att AGGRAVATED CHILD NEGLECT (UNDER 8/DISABLED) – and continues to violate her probation multiple times while serving her sentence, yet remains free to serve her time outside of prison, with 8 years of felony probation and chance after chance. Would these same businesses support someone else having a questionable legal fund party at their location, or donate sales to them, such as if the recently charged Timothy Batts – we wonder if the outcome would be the same in allowing such a party/fundraiser to happen? Or is it because she is a young white woman that they seem to ignore the charges and raise the money anyways, despite her guilty conviction in the case?
Here’s an updated criminal history on Haller, and our Original Story on Kirin Haller aka Hong Meow