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Individual Arrested for Alleged Threat Against Journalist Investigating Nashville Shooter’s Manifesto

by Jessica
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The CEO of The Star News Network, Michael Patrick Leahy, is currently embroiled in a public records lawsuit aimed at obtaining the manifesto of the Nashville school shooter.

Recently, a Tennessee man named Michael Alonzo Rouse has been charged with making threats against Leahy due to his involvement in the lawsuit.

Leahy, who serves as the CEO of The Star News Network and its parent company, Star News Digital Media Inc., is seeking the release of the manifesto written by Audrey Hale.

Hale, a transgender individual, perpetrated a tragic shooting incident at a Nashville Christian school in March, resulting in the loss of three students and three faculty members. Hale was a former student at the school.

Rouse allegedly sent an email to Leahy on July 9, expressing his anger and making threats. The email, signed by “Mike,” contained derogatory language and stated that Rouse would be willing to go to prison to harm Leahy.

It also criticized Leahy for his focus on Audrey Hale and accused him of seeking attention by obtaining her manifesto.

Following the incident, Rouse was issued a misdemeanor summons for harassment on July 10, and an arrest warrant for aggravated stalking, a felony offense, was issued the next day. Rouse was arrested on the evening of July 11 and charged accordingly. His bond was set at $7,500, which he posted, and he is scheduled to appear in court on September 7.

Efforts to obtain the manifesto and related documents have been ongoing since the shooting took place. However, both the FBI and Nashville police have refused to release the writings, citing an ongoing investigation that may take up to a year.

While local law enforcement maintains that Audrey Hale acted alone, various parties, including journalists, parents, and private schools, have sought to block the release of the documents.

Hale’s parents, Ronald and Norma Hale, claim possession of their daughter’s documents and argue that they have the right to decide who receives ownership of the materials.

They have expressed their intention to provide the documents to the children who attended the school. Those who make the manifesto public could potentially face legal consequences, as suggested by Deborah Fisher, the executive director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government.

The Tennessee Firearms Association and the National Police Association are also involved in the lawsuit against the Metro Nashville Police Department, advocating for the release of the manifesto.

John Harris, the executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association, explained that state public records law supports the public’s right to access government-held documents. Harris further informed Leahy that the lawsuit could extend until 2026, depending on potential appeals.

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