The attorney made suggestions on how murder, like self-defense, might look like.
January 24, 2021, 10:06 p.m.
6 min read
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A Nashville attorney’s license was suspended for four years after posting advice on how to overcome murder.
The advice was given in 2017 in response to a post from a Facebook friend who described a “tumultuous” breakup with her child’s father and inquired about the legality of carrying a gun in her car after court documents filed with the Tennessee Supreme Court on Friday .
Attorney Winston Bradshaw Sitton reportedly wrote that if the woman wanted to kill her ex-boyfriend, she should “lure” him into her home and “claim” he broke in with intent to harm her and feared for her life judgment of the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Sitton, whose Facebook page described him as a lawyer, also stressed in the comment that his advice was given “as a lawyer” and that she should delete the thread if she was “remotely serious” as it used it as evidence of premeditation could be against them in the process, it says in the court documents.
“If you want to kill him, lure him into your house and claim he broke in with the intention of harming you and that you fear for your life,” he wrote. “Even with the new Basic Law, the lock doctrine is a far more secure basis for the use of lethal force.”
In response to Sitton’s comment, the woman wrote, “I wish he would try,” whereupon Sitton advised her to “stay mother about it,” the documents say.
According to the verdict, Sitton had never met the woman in person, but had been friends with her on the social media platform for about a year.
Although the woman later deleted the Facebook post, her ex-boyfriend became aware of the exchange and took screenshots to Shelby County’s Attorney General Amy Weirich, who then forwarded the screenshots to the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility as per court documents.
Sitton received a four-year ban, one year of which is an active suspension and the remainder is on probation.
The case is described in the judge’s statement by Holly Kirby, Tennessee Supreme Court Justice, as a “cautionary story about the ethical issues lawyers can face on social media.”
A disciplinary proceeding found that Sitton’s behavior “interferes with the administration of justice” and violates the professional rules of the state. Disciplinary proceedings are not criminal proceedings as indicated in the court document and he has not been prosecuted.
Sitton describes himself on his LinkedIn page as an “attorney / business consultant with extensive experience in the healthcare, financial services and entertainment sectors.”
In a statement posted on his company’s Facebook page, Sitton said the language he wrote in the post was “moderate” and he regretted “the way that statement was phrased,” describing the company Comment, however, as “purposely caustic and cynical”.
“I relentlessly deny the finding that my gratuitous comment, offered to an abused woman who was threatened, molested and molested by her son’s father, was legal advice regarding the commission of a crime or in any way contrary to my legal obligations as a citizen or as a lawyer, “wrote Sitton.
“We agree with Mr. Sitton that it is hard to imagine why a lawyer would give instructions to commit murder and conduct a fabricated defense,” said Kirby’s judge’s statement.