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Attorneys assigned to suspects in 2 attempted murder cases

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The public defender's office have been assigned to two cases involving local men accused of attempted slayings.

On Nov. 27, James Otis Mears, 54, will make his second appearance in General Sessions Court. Mears is accused of purchasing a gun with the intention of killing two informants who reported him for alleged sexual abuse.

He is being held on $1,250,000 bond at Bedford County Jail, charged with two counts of criminal attempt to commit first degree murder, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and violation of probation.

Mears stung

An arrest was made in Mears' case after he allegedly bought a gun from a Shelbyville police detective during a sting operation. In late August, Detective Carol Jean was alerted to a possible sex abuse case and interviewed Mears, but was not able to develop enough information for an arrest, according to Detective Sgt. Brian Crews.

The next morning, Bedford County Deputy Garcia Jordan told Shelbyville detectives he learned that Mears was attempting to purchase a firearm so he could kill the people involved in making the accusations.

"The informant believed if he didn't get the firearm from him he would from someone else," Crews said, so a sting was set up where Detective Sam Jacobs sold him the gun.

Since Mears was already a convicted felon, he was arrested for buying the weapon. Further investigation led to the belief that he possessed intent to purchase a firearm so he could kill the two informants, Crews explained at the time. The Bedford County Sheriff's Department and 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force were also involved in the investigation.

Stabbing case

A second court date of Nov. 21 was set for Alfredo Velasquez, 62, who is accused of nearly killing a man after allegedly stabbing him five times. Velasquez is charged with attempted criminal homicide and is being held without bond at Bedford County Jail.

He is accused of attacking his neighbor Roberto Morales, 29, of Old Nashville Dirt Road, although county investigators did not have a motive at the time the stabbing took place.

According to Detective Brian Farris, Morales suffered one stab wound which cut a neck artery, one slash across the neck, two wounds to the chest and one to the abdomen, and had to be placed in a medically induced coma.

Farris said a third party tried to intercede and grabbed Velasquez in the arm as he stabbed the victim, pulling his arm away and sticking himself in the leg.

After a search lasting several hours, Velasquez was found at a horse barn on U.S. 231 North passed out behind the wheel of his car. He did not know he was wounded until officers showed him.

Farris explained that Velasquez has nine aliases and four Social Security numbers, as well as two pending charges against him in California for assault and violation of probation.

Copy editor David Melson contributed to this report.