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Myron Fleming pleads guilty to Perkins murder

By TERENCE CORRIGAN - Special to the T-G
Posted 4/2/22

Early in the evening of Dec. 2, 2016, 51-year-old Robert Timothy Perkins was murdered in his home on Highway231, 3 miles south of the Rutherford County line.

His wrists and ankles had been bound …

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Myron Fleming pleads guilty to Perkins murder


Early in the evening of Dec. 2, 2016, 51-year-old Robert Timothy Perkins was murdered in his home on Highway231, 3 miles south of the Rutherford County line.

His wrists and ankles had been bound with fluorescent-green duct tape and zip ties; he had sustained a gunshot wound, execution-style, to the back of his head and his throat was slashed.

Perkins’ home was set ablaze using gasoline as the accelerant.

Perkins’ dog, Justice, was missing and his 2005 Chevy pickup was stolen. Perkins’ pickup truck was found the night of the murder, a couple of miles north of Perkins’ home. Justice, the pit bull, was inside the truck. The pickup had a flat right front tire.

Within a week, investigators had identified three suspects, termed “persons of interest”: Jeremy Lee Fleming,27, his brother, Myron David Fleming, 29, and Myron’s girlfriend, Autumn Nicole Slade, 26.

The Fleming brothers and Slade left for Florida the day after Perkins was murdered.

On Dec. 7, five days after the murder, Jeremy Lee, drove his dark green 1993 Honda onto the lawn of a law enforcement officer in Bushnell, Florida. The car got stuck in the yard and he was taken into custody initially on a charge of driving with a suspended license.

Myron and his girlfriend, Slade, were arrested 17 miles away, at a Motel6/IHOP restaurant near I-75 in Wildwood, Florida.

Myron was jailed on a Tennessee warrant for violation of probation. Slade was taken into custody on a Tennessee warrant for violation of probation in a burglary case.

On Dec. 9, seven days after Perkins was murdered, Jeremy Lee was charged with homicide.

At a jury trial in 2019, Jeremy Lee Fleming, was found guilty of First Degree Murder, Theft and Arson. He was sentenced to serve a life sentence plus 15 years. He will first chance for early release will be in 2082 when he’ll be93 years old.

Jeremy Lee appealed his sentence in 2020, claiming that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction.

The Court of Criminal Appeals rejected his claim. The appeals court did, however, reduce his sentence on the theft charge from 12 years to one year but that change did not reduce the amount of time he must stay in prison.

The case against Myron Fleming was scheduled to go to trial on April 11 this year but on Feb. 24 he accepted a plea deal.

Myron was initially charged with First Degree Murder, Facilitation of First Degree Murder, Arson and Theft. He pled guilty to Facilitation of First Degree Murder (helping or rendering aid to someone who commits murder) and was sentenced to a prison term of 15 years. The other charges (First Degree Murder, Arson and Theft) were dismissed.

The evidence

The evidence implicating the Flemings in the murder of Perkins was substantial.

Investigators found ATM receipts and video surveillance from two banks on Cason Lane in Murfreesboro that showed that Jeremy Lee Fleming had attempted, unsuccessfully, to withdraw cash with a debit card from an account belonging to Perkins on the night Perkins was murdered.

When the Honda Jeremy Lee was driving was searched in Florida, investigators found prescription slips and medications in Perkins’ name. In the car, investigators found prescription slips, dated Dec. 1, the day before the murder.

The medications and prescription slips found are for drugs commonly abused for their narcotic effect: Percocet, Ambien and diazepam. One of Perkins’ neighbors, a 10-year-old girl, had identified the green Honda at Perkins’ home the night of the murder.

Investigators analyzed cellphones belonging to the Fleming brothers and determined that Myron Fleming was in the area of Perkins’ home at the time of the murder.

There was, however, no conclusive cellphone location information on Jeremy Lee Flemings’ phone that night.

At trial friends and associates of the Flemings brothers and Perkins testified to the group’s ongoing use of methamphetamine and heroin.

Samantha McBride, who said she had “kinda dated” Myron Fleming, testified that she and Myron had injected methamphetamine and heroin together.

She testified that, while “hanging out” at Perkins’s home, a few days before the murder, she saw Jeremy Lee Fleming point a shotgun at Perkins demanding that he open a safe and reveal the PIN for Perkins’ debit card.

McBride testified that Myron pulled his brother away and ordered him to get in the car.

As the Flemings were on their way to Florida, the day after the murder, Jeremy Lee Fleming boasted in a Facebook message, “So I got $2,500, a legit car, my brother, a couple of firearms, and a few bags of clothes. I just crossed the GA (Georgia) line. We are on 75 South, I’m ready to get on with my life.”

The appeal

In reviewing his criminal history, to determine if his sentences were appropriate, the court of appeals noted that in the presentence report it was stated that Jeremy Lee Fleming “had prior convictions for two counts of RICO offenses (serious felony crimes), tampering with evidence, theft of property, and felony marijuana possession.

In his juvenile record, Jeremy Lee had been convicted twice of marijuana possession, driving under the influence and five counts of automobile burglary.”

According to the appeals court, at the trial for Jeremy Lee Fleming, his aunt, Jeriesse Fleming, said he was a “sweet kid” who had a “good upbringing.”

She said he had a “heart of gold” and wanted to change his ways after being caught up in a lifestyle to which he was not accustomed.

She said (Jeremy Lee) had tried to change his ways ….” but his brother (Myron) and others “had been bad influences.”

In a statement to the court, Jeremy Lee Fleming, said he thought about the victim (Perkins), with whom he had had a good relationship.

Fleming said he prayed nightly for Perkins and Perkins’ family. He said he did not kill Perkins, and the Perkins’ killer is “still … out on the streets.” Jeremy Lee testified that the case was not over, and said he “will be back.”