Kingsport Police Chief Mark Addington, far right, confers with other members of the department at the home of Rep. Keith Westmoreland. Ned Jilton II photo.
Rep. Keith Westmoreland dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound
By TIM WHALEY
KINGSPORT - State Rep. Keith Westmoreland, R-Kingsport, a lifelong public servant in Sullivan County and Kingsport, died at his Kingsport home Wednesday night of what police believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Kingsport Police Chief Mark Addington said.
Westmoreland, 55, was at home alone at the time of the incident, Addington said.
"At approximately 8:25 p.m. this evening, Kingsport central dispatch received a call from Dennis Westmoreland, brother of state Rep. Keith Westmoreland," Addington said. "Mr. Westmoreland reported that he had found Rep. Westmoreland with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was found in his home in the bathroom."
Addington said Westmoreland left a note for his family, but the contents of the note were not released Wednesday night.
"Rep. Westmoreland was to have joined his family for dinner at his brother's home, and when he failed to show up, Dr. Westmoreland and Keith Westmoreland's son went to the home on 3216 Kenridge Street, where they found Rep. Westmoreland."
Addington said the investigation was continuing at 10 p.m.
Westmoreland's death comes amid allegations that Westmoreland exposed himself to three girls under age 16 at a San Destin, Fla., hotel hot tub last week.
Then Tuesday, Nashville Metro Police confirmed that Westmoreland received a verbal warning from police after motel guests in a building across the street from Westmoreland's apartment reported seeing Westmoreland standing naked at his window on March 13.
Westmoreland told authorities that he had just gotten out of the shower, and a verbal warning was issued, Metro Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said.
And on Wednesday, Aaron held a press conference after a search of Nashville Metro records at media requests revealed an indecent exposure allegation on March 26.
Aaron told the Times-News that the March 26 incident allegedly occurred at the Holiday Inn Select on Elm Hill Pike.
Aaron said two sisters, ages 13 and 15, reported that a man was exposing himself in the hotel's hot tub.
A hotel manager was called to the pool area, and Aaron said "the suspect quickly dressed and fled into the parking lot, got into a vehicle and drove away."
"An individual was able to write down the license number on the vehicle. The tag number came back to a Keith Westmoreland, of Kingsport, Tennessee. The tag numeral 2 and then the letters ND," Aaron said.
Aaron said he did not know if the tag was a legislative tag, but Westmoreland has represented the 2nd State House District since 1992.
Aaron said the girls' mother has declined pressing charges when contacted on several occasions, including as recently as Wednesday.
"If that's her decision, it's certainly understandable," Aaron said. "This is a lady who resides in East Tennessee, not Davidson County. These are two teenage girls, and if she wants to spare them the legal process in this misdemeanor situation, that's certainly understandable."
Aaron said the Nashville charge, if one had been placed, would have been a misdemeanor based on the details as known Wednesday.
Westmoreland was charged with seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to a child under age 16 in Florida.
Although no charges have been placed in Tennessee, Aaron said Wednesday that the investigation was being kept "open in light of the circumstances" in Florida and the March 13 apartment window incident.
How odd. Was he elected in the crib? Sad story no matter what. Some people have demons they can't control. But, he finally did get his under control.
Westmoreland's death comes amid allegations that Westmoreland exposed himself to three girls under age 16 at a San Destin, Fla., hotel hot tub last week. Then Tuesday, Nashville Metro Police confirmed that Westmoreland received a verbal warning from police after motel guests in a building across the street from Westmoreland's apartment reported seeing Westmoreland standing naked at his window on March 13.
A parasite and a freaky pervert. Good riddance.
I have voted for him every time he ran and am sorry I Can't vote for him again.
He apparently had problems but he had a good mind and unlike most, actually led rather than follow the wind.