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Police: Drugs behind majority of Nashville’s double, triple murder cases

Homicide rates are up in Music City by 30% this year.

Of those 81 lives lost, some of them were at the same scene. Double and triple murder cases don’t happen often, but when they do investigators say it’s for only a few reasons.

“I always broke it down into three categories,” Hendersonville Police Chief Mickey Miller said.

Miller said family, drugs, or random circumstances were always behind multiple homicide cases. In 2020, most of those double or triple murders were because of drugs.

“Drug crimes are not singular crimes. It’s not usually a one-on-one situation, there’s usually dealers and buyers and sometimes suppliers,” Assistant District Attorney Tammy Meade said.

Meade said drug-related murders are the more complicated cases to prosecute because of the multiple parties that are frequently in play.

“Because while it may appear that the fact pattern is one in the same, you’ll have opposing views and opposing defenses,” Meade said.

But due to the nature of a drug-related murder, Meade said it’s not unusual for witnesses to scatter. In those cases, families are left without justice if prosecutors can’t bring cases to court.

“We get as frustrated as the families do. We want to prosecute these cases. We want to get closure for the families. We want to do everything we can to support them through this traumatic and tragic time,” Meade said.

Meade attributes a lot of the big murder cases to gun violence because of the accessibility and increase of stolen firearms.

“Guns are easy to get. Guns are easy to steal. Guns are quick,” Meade said.

Meade is fearful of the number of violent crimes that are starting to creep into otherwise safe neighborhoods. She said it’s becoming more common for interviews to say they felt comfortable in an area where murders took place.