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Press Release

Nashville Woman Pleads Guilty To Bribery And Witness Tampering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Tennessee
Plea Agreement Calls For 30-Months In Federal Prison

Ivy C. Starks, 50, of Nashville, Tenn., pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court, to bribery and witness tampering, announced Jack Smith, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.


According to facts contained in the plea agreement, Joshua Woods a/k/a J-Looney was shot on October 16, 2014 by Darryl Starks and Calvin Starks near the J.C. Napier public housing development in Nashville, as a result of a prior dispute between Starks and another individual. Both Starks’ were later arrested and charged with attempted murder, based on Wood’s statement to police.


Ivy Starks, the mother of Darryl Starks and the aunt of Calvin Starks, was aware of the shooting and the fact that Woods was to testify against her son and nephew at future court proceedings. Starks unlawfully offered Woods a bribe in the form of cash and a used Chevrolet Monte Carlo, to keep him from providing truthful testimony in court.


After agreeing to accept the bribe, Woods showed up at the Davidson County Courthouse in November 2016, in order to testify at the preliminary hearing for Darryl Starks. Ivy Starks approached him and told him that if he testified, she would not be able to guarantee his safety. Woods considered this a veiled threat and left the courthouse without testifying. Ivy Starks later gave Woods the Monte Carlo and promised cash if he provided false testimony at proceedings against Calvin Starks as well.


Woods was later arrested as a material witness and brought to court to testify in the case against Calvin Starks in December 2014. Woods provided false testimony at the hearing and subsequently was untruthful to federal agents and a federal grand jury investigating violations of federal firearms laws. As a result of this conduct, Woods was charged with lying to the grand jury and being a convicted felon in possession of firearms. His case is pending before the court.


Darryl Starks and Calvin Starks, both of Nashville, were subsequently charged with federal firearm offenses and their cases are also pending.


All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.


This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department Gang Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Sunny A.M. Koshy is prosecuting the case.


Updated March 31, 2017