Student Dies After Being Shot While Walking – Suspect Was Recently Released from Jail Due to ‘Loophole’

Student Dies After Being Shot While Walking – Suspect Was Recently Released from Jail Due to ‘Loophole’

A man with a lengthy criminal record is accused of shooting and killing an 18-year-old college freshman in Tennessee, and he was free to commit the crime as he was out of police custody thanks to a “legal loophole,” according to a report.

WSMV-TV reported Belmont University student Jillian Ludwig was shot in the head as she was walking near campus on Tuesday afternoon.

Belmont University is a private Christian school in Nashville.

According to police, the alleged shooter is 29-year-old Shaquille Taylor, who has a lengthy rap sheet but cannot be tried for crimes because he has been deemed mentally incompetent.

Taylor had been arrested for the shooting and had been charged with aggravated assault and evidence tampering while Ludwig was hospitalized.

But those charges are sure to be upgraded, as the Metro Nashville Police Department announced on Thursday morning that Ludwig had died from her injuries while doctors from Vanderbilt University Medical Center were attempting to save her life.

According to police, they are currently discussing with Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk about upgrading the charges against Taylor.

It is not clear what those charges might be. But Funk told the outlet less than two weeks ago that he was specifically concerned a person such as Taylor — someone who is immune from prosecution — would hurt someone.

“It’s unbelievably frustrating because we know there’s going to be another victim in the next few weeks,” Funk said of being unable to lock up people who pose a danger to society.

Twelve days later, Ludwig was shot. Funk explained at the time how the existing laws work.

The suspect and other area criminals have been essentially free to do what they wish, thanks to laws against trying alleged criminals who are found to be mentally incompetent.

Taylor was set free earlier this year after three doctors testified he was incompetent to stand trial on a case of alleged assault with a deadly weapon.

“State and Federal law prohibit prosecution of persons found to be incompetent, so therefore [the judge in the case] was mandated to dismiss the case,” Funk told WSMV. “Because the doctors did not find Mr. Taylor met the standards for involuntary commitment, he was released from custody on May 19, 2023.”

In spite of those laws, with the death of Ludwig, Funk is attempting to upgrade charges against Taylor, presumably to murder.

Alleged violent criminals who are seemingly immune from prosecution apparently number in the “hundreds” in the city, WSMV reported.

The outlet reported Taylor has a criminal history that dates back to 2010 and includes alleged crimes such as robbery, gun crimes, burglary and vehicle theft.

Geri Wainwright, who is the aunt of Ludwig, demanded to know why her niece’s alleged killer was walking around Nashville on Tuesday.

“So, we have to ask, why was this man free?” Wainwright asked. “What kind of world do we live in where it’s not safe to take a walk near your college dorm in broad daylight? How could someone so carelessly dim the light of a star destined to shine so bright?”

Ludwig was a business major and was said to have been a talented singer.

WTVF reported Taylor has been diagnosed with an intellectual disability.

As recently as 2021, the outlet reported, he fired a handgun into a car with two small children inside. In spite of offering a confession to the shooting, Taylor was not remanded to a mental health facility or convicted of a crime.

WTVF reported Taylor suffered from pneumonia as a baby that led to a brain infection that left him “incompetent and not restorable.”

His intellectual level was described as being on the same level as a child in kindergarten.

The Tennessee statute on crime and those with “intellectual and developmental disabilities” states: “When a defendant charged with a criminal offense is believed to be incompetent to stand trial, or there is a question about the defendant’s mental capacity at the time of the commission of the crime, the criminal, circuit, or general sessions court judge may, upon the judge’s own motion or upon petition by the district attorney general or by the attorney for the defendant and after hearing, order the defendant to be evaluated on an outpatient basis.”


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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