Jury finds Alex Friedmann guilty of planting weapons inside jail


Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 4:27 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A Davidson County jury found a man guilty of planting weapons inside the Downtown Detention Center on Thursday while it was under construction in 2019.

The jury deliberated just over an hour before returning with the guilty verdict of prison reform expert Alex Friedmann.

On Thursday juror saw for the first time how Friedmann, accused of planting weapons inside the new jail, was caught. The video was shown on Thursday during the final day of testimony.

WSMV4 Investigates has been reporting how he’s accused of dressing up like a construction worker in 2019 to infiltrate the jail to plant weapons inside.

On Thursday, investigators testified they knew someone was posing as a construction worker but did not know who or why.

When that man arrived at the building on Jan. 4, 2020, they led him into a room where he thought he would take an elevator. Instead, he was made to wait while police arrived and ultimately arrested him. But only after he had drilled and cut through walls, hid weapons throughout the jail, and stole keys.

“He broke the entire jail. Yes, he broke walls. Yes, he broke mirrors. Yes, broke all of those things. But he also broke the entire integrity of the jail,” Assistant District Attorney Amy Hunter said during closing arguments.

Friedmann’s defense didn’t dispute he did it. They just said vandalism is physical damage and it didn’t add up to the vandalism of $250,000 that makes it a felony.

“They’re obviously very bad facts for my client. He did very terrible things. We’re not running from that, but that’s not what you’re being asked to decide,” Friedmann’s attorney Ben Raybin said during closing arguments.

In another alarming piece of video, you can see that before police arrived, Friedmann began to eat something. Prosecutors believe he was eating paperwork, either plans or diagrams of the jail.

Friedmann opted not to testify on Thursday.

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