D.A.’s office will prosecute passenger, but not off-duty officer, on identical charge

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The District Attorney’s office confirms in an email to Scoop: Nashville they will proceed with the prosecution of Jeffrey Cross on Monday morning, for possessing a weapon while under the influence of alcohol. This is despite the D.A.’s office refusing to prosecute the driver of the same car, Hendersonville Police Officer Derick Brewer, who was also charged with possession of a handgun under the influence and DUI, when a Metro Nashville Police officer stopped their vehicle going 99 mph in a 65 mph zone in June.

Steve Hayslip, Director of Communications for District Attorney General Glenn Funk says ADA Elaine Cuthbertson is “proceeding with the preliminary hearing on 4/8”, and then “it will be up to Judge Turner to determine if there’s probable cause to send the case on.”

The off-duty Hendersonville Police driving the car, Derick Brewer, with Jeffrey Cross as the passenger, blew over the legal limit and was charged by MNPD with a DUI in addition to the weapons charge, but Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk would not prosecute the officer either of the crimes.

Jeffrey Cross (MNPD)

In January, the District Attorney’s office told Scoop: Nashville this, about Derick Brewer, the off-duty police officer that was charged with the DUI:

“The ADA, who is our team leader in General Sessions with decades of experience, was made aware that Mr. Brewer would lose his job if pleading to, or found guilty.  The ADA says this case was handled no differently than any other first time offender with a relatively low BAC that faces employment termination from a DUI conviction.   The ADA was not aware (to her recollection) about a passenger, and the speeding ticket is up to the discretion of the arresting officer.” [radar confirmed speed at 99 in a 65]

We now know the above statement of ‘was handled no differently than any other first time offender’ is an outright lie from Glenn Funk’s office, as they proceed with prosecuting the passenger on an identical gun charge. The DA’s office also noted “his BAC was 0.10.  (just .02 above the legal limit), and this was his first offense.” In an agreement to not be prosecuted for the charges, Brewer attended a Victim Impact Panel, and attend Alcohol Safety School.

Derick Brewer (MNPD)

Later in January, the DA’s office clarified their previous statement, adding “The ADA did know about the passenger, but says it didn’t impact her decision or conditions set forth on Brewer.”

When the DA’s office dropped the charges for the Hendersonville Police Officer, it caught the Metro Nashville Police Department by complete surprise. Their officers made the arrests, and were subpoenaed to appear in court. MNPD Spokesperson Kris Mumford tells Scoop: Nashville:

“The officers involved in the initial arrest were subpoenaed to appear on November 13th.  The officers appeared but the court date was then postponed.  The officers were not subpoenaed to appear on January 15th when the case was nollied.  Had they been subpoenaed, the officers could have testified about the speeding as part of the DUI/gun possession case, but they obviously cannot testify when they are not asked to appear. Furthermore, the arrest information, which included the speed (probable cause for the stop).”

After the decision was made to not prosecute the police officer driver for the DUI or handgun charge, the D.A.’s office says the general sessions team leader that handled the Brewer case met with the ADA handing the Jeffrey Cross (passenger) case on February 8th, to go over the case together, and make the decision to continue Brewer’s prosecution on the identical handgun charge for which they didn’t prosecute the off-duty officer.

The affidavit and arrest report are below:

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