UPDATED: (MURFREESBORO) A 27-year-old assistant wrestling coach at Blackman High School was booked into the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center under multiple charges. According to information from an upcoming court date the reported assistant coach, who is reported to be a volunteer, was charged with five counts of sexual contact with a minor by an authority figure (39-13-509). Murfreesboro resident Byron Smith was investigated and arrested by Detective Amanda McPherson with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office. During the investigation, McPherson also charged Smith with one count of solicitation of a minor – aggravated statutory rape (39-13-528), which is a Class E Felony.
Reports indicate the alleged crime took place on January 28, 2023. In a statement from the Rutherford County School System, they received information about the allegations on February 23, 2023, and Smith was suspended from all coaching duties that day. He was later arrested the following day on February 24, 2023. On Monday, February 27th, a hearing was held before Judge Lisa Eischeid, which was the day that a criminal warrant was served on Smith.
Lisa Marchesoni with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office confirmed, “He is free after posting a $20,000 bond at Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.” The next criminal hearing for the suspect has been set for March 23, 2023, again before Judge Lisa Eischeid.
A December 22, 2022 Facebook post on the Blackman Wrestling Club page showed a picture of Smith in a guest wrestling practice. The text with the photo showed that he was participating in the teaching of different wrestling techniques. Meanwhile, the Blackman Wrestling website, which is linked to the Rutherford County Schools Blackman High School page, had Smith listed as an “Assistant Coach” on their 2022-2023 roster. By mid-morning on Tuesday, his name was removed. The TSSAA website also has Smith listed as an “Assistant Coach” for Blackman High School.
Rutherford County Schools Communications Director James Evans told WGNS News on Tuesday, "Byron Smith is not paid by RCS or a booster club. He is a volunteer, non-faculty assistant coach. He has served in the role for four years. Both the boys and girls wrestling teams practice at the same time."
The county schools also released this statement, "The district has suspended Byron Smith, a volunteer, non-faculty wrestling coach at Blackman High School, after receiving an allegation of inappropriate sexual contact with a student. We received the allegation on Thursday, Feb. 23, and he was suspended from all coaching duties the same day. We also made a referral to the Department of Children Services and law enforcement the same day. We have now been notified of charges being filed by law enforcement, but you would need to check with law enforcement for any questions about the criminal charges. The school has also notified wrestling parents."
Again, Smith is scheduled in an upcoming hearing on March 23, 2023 in General Sessions Court.
DISCLAIMER: All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The arrest records or information about an arrest that are published or reported on NewsRadio WGNS and www.WGNSradio.com are not an indication of guilt or evidence that an actual crime has been committed.
Additional WGNS Headlines:
- TBI: Former Murfreesboro Man Charged with ID Theft and with
Impersonating a Licensed Professional when Allegedly Providing COVID Tests
- Support the Child Advocacy Center at the Hometown Heroes Walk for Children!
- Community Investment Trust Committee on Contributions
scheduled to meet at Municipal Airport Tuesday Afternoon
- UPDATE: 2020 Murder Investigation Headed to Court in April
- Commentary: Being Masculine in Today’s Times
- Great Granddaughter of the 28th Tennessee Governor Passes Away in Murfreesboro
- 12-Year-Old from Murfreesboro, TN in Need of a Kidney
- New Indoor Soccer Facility in Murfreesboro to Open this Spring
- Smyrna High School Senior to Receive UT Athletic Scholarship, Despite Injuries
- Interpretations of the Same Set of Facts Equal
Two Different Stories to Tell, by MTSU Professor Larry Burriss