A Nashville woman was charged with attempted murder on Sept. 11 after turning herself in to police following an altercation with a homeless man who was sleeping outside on the sidewalk weeks before.
Katie Layne Quackenbush, 26, is facing the charge in connection with the Aug. 26 shooting of 54-year-old Gerald Melton, who remains hospitalized with critical injuries, according to the Tennessean.
Katie is being held on a $25,000 bond after she allegedly attempted to kill Melton, who had been sleeping on the ground near Music Row, police told the Tennessean. Bothered by the noise and smell of the car, Melton reportedly asked Katie to move it somewhere else. He then says she exited the vehicle with a weapon, shot him twice, and fled the scene. According to her father, Jesse Quackenbush, an attorney from Texas, that isn't the whole story.
“She didn’t try to kill this guy,” he told the Tennessean after her arrest. “She had no intention of killing him. She didn’t even know that she hit him.”
Her father alleged that the event happened in self-defense -- he described a different scenario to the Tennessean that portrays Melton as the aggravator, stating that he had harassed Katie and her friend, and threatened their lives, before his daughter fired two warning shots with her eyes closed.
He stated that, because his daughter has a son, she is not capable of committing this crime, according to the Tennessean.
The victim, Melton, was “trying to sleep on the sidewalk” around 3 a.m. near Music Row when he “became disturbed by exhaust fumes and loud music coming from a Porsche SUV,” according to a news release reported by the Tennessean.
After the confrontation, Katie and her friend continued to dinner and did not report the altercation for two weeks, despite allegedly seeing crime tape surrounding the vehicle upon returning to the scene they had left behind.
Katie obtained an attorney prior to turning herself in. Metro police have not commented on the allegations that Melton had threatened Katie's life, according to the Tennessean.
Katie is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 6.
The homeless population in Nashville is the sixth-largest increase among major U.S. cities, at a 9.8 percent jump from 2015 to 2016, according to a study reported by the Tennessean.
Two of every five homeless people in Nashville are experiencing chronic homelessness due to medical issues, mental illness or substance abuse disorders -- the most in the country.