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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Nashville Man Facing Federal Charges for Setting Fires to the Music City Garage

Fires Set on Four Seperate Occasions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – February 14, 2014 – James Hayward Williams, aka Spanky, 42 of Nashville, Tennessee, was charged today with 11 federal offenses relating to the burning of the Music City Garage in East Nashville in December 2018 and for firing multiple rounds from a semi-automatic pistol at On the Go Tires in East Nashville on January 5, 2019, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.

A criminal complaint obtained today charges Williams with using Instagram messages to threaten to burn the Music City Garage and vehicles located on the property, with the intent to extort money from the owner; four counts of using fire to commit a federal felony; four counts of maliciously damaging a building used in interstate commerce, by means of fire; and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

According to the complaint, after threatening the owner with burning the business, Williams set fire to the Music City Garage two times during the early morning hours on December 22, 2018, and again set fire to the building on December 24th and on December 26th,   in an effort to extort $30,000 from its owner.  During each incident, the Metropolitan Nashville Fire Department (MNFD) responded and extinguished blazes at the business, including vehicles which had been set on fire.  The complaint also charges Williams with possessing a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol after having been convicted of a felony and firing multiple rounds from that pistol at On the Go Tires, in furtherance of an extortion attempt to collect $20,000 from a person associated with that business.  As alleged in the complaint, multiple rounds were fired at the business and at a vehicle that was occupied by a young girl, narrowly missing her.

If convicted, Williams faces more than 100 years in prison.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; the MNPD Gang Unit and recently formed Crime Gun Unit; and the MNFD Fire Marshal’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sunny A.M. Koshy is prosecuting the case.

The charges in the criminal complaint are merely accusations.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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Violent Crime
David Boling Public Information Officer 615-736-5956
Updated February 14, 2019