Parole Hearing Set for Man Serving Life Sentence in 1981 DeKalb Murder Case

September 4, 2010
Dwayne Page
Gerald (J.B.) Bounds (Photo provide to WJLE courtesy of Smithville Review

63 year Gerald Wayne (J.B.) Bounds of McMinnville, who has spent nearly 30 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a DeKalb County man in 1981, is scheduled to have another parole hearing October 21st at the Southeast Regional Correctional Facility in Pikeville where he is incarcerated.

Bounds is serving a life sentence for the first degree premeditated killing of 27 year old Sherman Wright, who was shot once in the face just outside the Odyssey Arcade on West Broad Street, across from the Dairy Queen. The incident occurred on the afternoon of February 2nd, 1981. The game room no longer exists. The building now serves as the location for the Discount Tobacco Outlet.

Bounds has been before members of the Tennessee Board of Pardons and Parole at least twice in recent years trying to gain an early release, but so far to no avail. Members of the Wright family and state prosecutors have always opposed it.

During an October 2002 parole hearing at Pikeville, Bounds claimed he came to Smithville that day (February 2nd, 1981) to pay $100 on a gambling debt he owed a friend when he spotted the vehicle of another acquaintance at the game room. While in the game room, he happened upon Wright, who allegedly owed Bounds money on a gambling debt for betting on football games.

Bounds told members of the parole board that he and Wright got into an argument. "I swung at him. He (Wright) stuck his hands into his pocket. I pulled my gun." Bounds later admitted that Wright did not have a weapon when he pulled his hands from his pocket.

According to Bounds, the fatal shot that struck Wright below one of his eyes, wasn't intentional. Bounds said "I didn't mean to do it."

Witnesses during the trial testified that once Bounds and Wright stepped outside the building, they (witnesses) heard the shot fire before the front door closed behind them. After the shooting, Bounds got in his car and returned to McMinnville, where he later reportedly turned himself in.

During the parole hearing eight years ago, Bounds said at that time, he was a teacher's aide in the wood plant at the Pikeville facility and had completed training in heat and air conditioning repair. Bounds said if released, he would return to McMinnville where he had a job lined up.

In making his unsuccessful appeal for release eight years ago, Bounds said "It's something that can't be taken back. I know (Wright family) they have suffered as well as my family. I've always thought I was a pretty decent person. I've done wrong."

One parole board member, at that hearing eight years ago, said he had a problem letting anyone convicted of first degree premeditated murder be released with less than thirty years of time served.

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