Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Ex-officer cites errors in McNair probe
By Elizabeth Merrill
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A former Nashville police officer says he will present a report to a grand jury Friday asking that the Steve McNair murder-suicide case be reopened.
Vincent Hill, the former officer, filed a 32-page complaint last month citing what he called "numerous errors" by Nashville police in their investigation of McNair's murder on July 4, 2009. Police ruled that the former Tennessee Titans quarterback was shot dead in his sleep by his 20-year-old girlfriend, Sahel Kazemi, who then turned the gun on herself.
Roughly a week after the murder, Hill contacted Kazemi's sisters, telling them he didn't believe Sahel was the killer. For the past 11 months, Hill says, he's conducted interviews and compiled information on the case. This spring, Hill self-published "Playbook to a Murder," a book that outlines his theories on the McNair murder and his belief that Kazemi wasn't the shooter.
Hill says he spent most of his 4½ years on the Nashville police force in traffic patrol and resigned in 2006 to spend more time with his daughter. He currently serves as a fraud investigator for a credit card company and says he is working on his private investigator license. Though his history with former Nashville police chief Ronal Serpas has been described in the media as somewhat strained -- Nashville police say Hill resigned in 2006 with disciplinary action pending over a terminated pursuit -- Hill says he isn't doing this to get back at anyone.
"My whole motivation behind this the entire time," Hill said, "was to find answers for both families."
A longtime Nashville criminal attorney contacted by ESPN.com on Tuesday said that in Tennessee private citizens have the right to present criminal cases to the grand jury. Rob McKinney, a defense attorney in Nashville, said it's unusual for the grand jury to hold such a hearing.
"I don't want to say it's unheard of," McKinney said. "But it's extremely rare."
Reached late Tuesday, Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said that the investigation remained closed and "we stand by that investigation."
Elizabeth Merrill is a senior writer for ESPN.com.