Songwriter Deported For 14-Year-Old Felony 3-11-2010 - WSMV Channel 4

Songwriter Deported For 14-Year-Old Felony 3-11-2010

Reported By Dennis Ferrier
NASHVILLE, Tenn.A popular Nashville musician is being deported for a 14-year-old felony.
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Dexter Bodden, "The Calypso Cowboy," was picked up by immigration and taken to Louisiana for deportation this week.
Friends and family are trying to do whatever it takes to get their old friend back to Nashville, where he's lived for 32 years.
Bodden had no idea how Sept. 11, 2002, would change his life. After that day, laws changed that allowed the deportation of any non-U.S. citizen at any time if they had a felony on their record.
Lee Akers said his friend is a hard worker, loyal friend and great singer.
"I heard one person say, 'He sings Merle (Haggard) better than Merle does," said Akers. "It might make Merle mad, but he is that good."
Bodden came from the Grand Cayman Islands to Nashville in 1978. Construction and country music were his life.
But in 1996, he thought his girlfriend was cheating on him, so he recorded her phone conversations. She prosecuted, and he pleaded guilty to a Class D felony so he could get probation and go back to work.
After 9/11, he was targeted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a foreigner with a felony and scheduled for deportation. So he lived, worked and sang as a marked man.
His girlfriend, Lola Hibbert, talked to him Thursday. He told her he's hoping his deportation can somehow be stopped by getting his felony expunged from his record.
"He's a good guy. He's a great singer. He's a gentleman -- the things that I fell in love with him for," said Hibbert.
Bodden hasn't been in trouble since 1996, but at this point, his only hope is to request an expungement in Wilson County, the district attorney would have to agree that it was worth considering and then a judge would have to grant it.

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