$1 million bond set in shooting death

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One man is dead and a boy was hospitalized as a result of shootings early Sunday afternoon at a Martin Avenue apartment house.

Phillip Matthew Burgess, 33, of Lewisburg, has claimed self-defense in the shooting death of Joey Perryman, 48, also of Lewisburg, Police Detective Sgt. David Henley reported Monday afternoon.

"It doesn't appear to be" plausible, the detective sergeant said of Burgess' claim of self-defense. However, police were still trying to establish a motive for the shootings at about dusk Monday.

Tuesday afternoon, Burgess' bond , was set at $1 million by Marshall County Sessions Court Judge Steve Bowden who, that morning, appointed Assistant Public Defender Bill Harold to serve as Burgess' attorney.

Burgess was booked into the Marshall County Jail at 1:45 p.m. Sunday on charges of aggravated assault and attempted criminal homicide, county records show. A warrant charging Burgess with criminal homicide was served on him at the county jail Monday evening, Henley said.

Wounded during gunfire at 1 p.m. in Apartment No. 7 of Martin Street Apartments, 210 Martin Avenue, was a 15-year-old boy, police said.

He's been identified as Perryman's nephew, Jordan Perryman.

The uncle's autopsy is, technically, incomplete, but lawmen were advised that it did appear that Joey Perryman did die as a result of a gunshot wound.

Henley reported both victims were transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center where Joey Perryman died as a result of his wounds. The nephew was released.

Henley's report indicates that Burgess was apprehended less than 40 minutes after the shooting.

"Burgess ... admitted to shooting the victims and stated he was acting in self-defense," Henley reported Monday. "Burgess stated he ... drove to the apartment to deliver mail to (Jeanette) Belew who had previously resided with him... (and) while at the residence four individuals attempted to rob him and he fired his .380-caliber handgun in self-defense."

Police have a gun entered as evidence in the case.

"Detectives determined through their investigation that Jeanette Belew, Joey Perryman, and two male juveniles, age 13 and 15, were at the residence when the shooting occurred," Henley said.

"According to the victims, Burgess came to the residence, entered the front door and shot Joey Perryman and the 15-year-old juvenile," Henley reported.

Belew was in the bathroom at the time of the shooting and was not injured, the detective sergeant said.

"The 13-year-old juvenile stated Burgess fired a shot at him but he was able to escape the residence uninjured while the shooting was in progress," Henley reported. "The motive for the shooting is still under investigation."

Burgess is being held without bond and is scheduled for a hearing in Marshall County General Sessions Court at 9 a.m. Sept. 13.

The chain of events, as revealed to police, unfolded as follows.

It was about 1:05 p.m. Sunday when Lewisburg Police received a call of shots fired on Martin Street, Henley said. Sgt. Jerry Broyles responded and at East Commerce and Martin streets he found the boy who appeared to have been shot.

While Broyles was waiting for an ambulance, police were called again. Additional victims were at 210 Martin Ave., Apartment No. 7. Cpl. Billy Duckworth went to Broyles' location as the sergeant drove to the apartment where he found Jeanette Belew. She said Perryman had been shot and was in the apartment, and another person had been shot but had run away. Perryman was lying on the floor inside the apartment. Broyles and other officers secured the scene and called for a second ambulance.

While at the apartment, several witnesses reported a white man had left in a blue Ford Explorer.

At about the same time police dispatch received a call of a blue Ford Explorer broken down at the intersection of Fifth Avenue North and Franklin Avenue.

Officer Russ Grubbs and Broyles went to that scene near the Hardison Office Annex where they found a suspect matching the description of the shooter provided by witnesses.

Burgess weighs 336 pounds, has brown hair and hazel eyes, county records show. A news source said he was wearing a distinctive shirt.

Broyles and Grubbs took Burgess into custody for questioning. The suspect's vehicle was transported to the Lewisburg Police Department where it was held for detectives.

Also working on the case were city Police Detectives Scott Braden and James Johnson as well as Marshall County Sheriff's Detective Capt. Bob Johnson who responded at the request of Lewisburg Police detectives.

Search warrants were obtained for and executed at the crime scene and the suspect's vehicle.

"Several items of evidence relevant to the case were recovered from the apartment and from the suspect's vehicle," Henley reported. "Detectives interviewed the suspect at the Marshall County Detention Facility."

Henley said police appreciate the public's support and ask that anyone with information relating to this, or any crime to please call Crime Stoppers at 359-4867 or the Lewisburg Police Criminal Investigations Division at 359-3800.