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Mears case goes to court in February

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The county's general sessions judge will hear evidence next month against a man accused of planning a pair of slayings.

A preliminary hearing is set on Feb. 14 for James Otis Mears, 54, who faces two counts of criminal attempt to commit first degree murder, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, as well as violation of probation.

At the hearing, Judge Charles Rich will determine if there is enough proof to bind him over to the next session of the Bedford County grand jury, scheduled to meet on Feb. 25.

Mears was charged after he was caught in a sting operation allegedly attempting to buy a gun from a Shelbyville police detective. Authorities claim that Mears bought the firearm with the intention of killing two informants who reported him for alleged sexual abuse.

He had been originally scheduled to appear before Rich in late November, but his court date was called off after the courthouse was evacuated due a series of bomb threats phoned in across Tennessee.

Looked for gun

The arrest occurred after Shelbyville detective Carol Jean was informed in late August about a possible sex abuse case. While Mears was interviewed, authorities were not able to develop enough information to make an arrest.

But Bedford County Deputy Garcia Jordan informed Shelbyville detectives the next morning that he learned Mears was trying to buy a gun so that he could kill the people making the accusations.

Detective Sgt. Brian Crews stated at the time that a sting involving Detective Sam Jacobs was set up, explaining that the person who informed Jordan about Mears' plan believed if he "didn't get the firearm from him, he would from someone else."

Since Mears was already a convicted felon, he was arrested for buying the weapon from Jacobs and Crews has stated that further investigation led to the two counts of criminal attempt to commit first degree murder being filed.

The Bedford County Sheriff's Department and 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force were also involved in the investigation. Mears is being held on $1,250,000 bond at the Bedford County Jail.