PRISON: In 2014 the state proposed closing the Charles Bass Correctional Complex in Nashville with a goal of saving over $16 million per year. At the time, the facility housed 650 medium security inmates. The governor later signed off on the closure.
The prison opened in 1946 and some of the more recent issues were as follows:
In 2003, Correctional Officer Frederick Gayle Hyatt was beaten to death in the prison. At the time, the facility was called the Middle Tennessee Correctional Complex. The death of Hyatt came when five inmates attempted to escape. Hyatt was 59 years old when he died. Inmate Malcolm Jenkins was later charged with his murder. The 40-year-old inmate would have been eligible for parole later that year.
It was 2005 that saw a prison guard fired at Bass after smuggling in a handgun. The female guard brought the weapon into the facility for a prisoner whom she was said to have a romantic relationship with. The woman was eventually fired, and two inmates involved in the incident were transferred to a maximum-security facility.
By 2007, the facility was operating at 96.9% capacity with 1,065 inmates.
In 2009 the prison was used as an intake point for new inmates. Knox County killer George Thomas who murdered UT Students Channon Christian and her boyfriend Christopher Newsome made his first stop to his new found prison life at Charles Bass Correctional Complex. The man is being held without parole for life.
In 2010, inmate Steve Travis from Rhea County was being held in the correctional complex when he decided to escape. The man was serving a 31-year sentence for more than 100 counts of aggravated burglary in Hamilton and Rhea Counties.
During the floods of 2010, inmates at Bass had to be relocated. The low-lying prison sits on the banks of the Cumberland river.
In 2011, a 20-year-old inmate named Anthony Walker escaped from his cell at 1AM. The man was later seen by a truck driver who notified authorities after Walker asked the trucker for a ride at a nearby gas station. The Rutherford County man was behind bars under a sentence scheduled to end in year 2020. His conviction was for attempted aggravated child abuse, neglect, theft and burglary.
That same year of 2011 an inmate named Romeous Lockridge escaped, but later checked himself into a hospital. It is believed that his lacerations and broken arm were sustained while scaling a razor wore fence surrounding the prison.
In 2016 the state told the public they would sell the 119 acre landscape is for “Cash Only.” Of course, in the world of government that may make perfect sense. In the world of industry, not so much as most realize you can often secure more for a property if you allow for loans because money is still relatively cheap to borrow.
Regardless, the top bid was submitted by the Rogers Group, Inc. at $12.5 million which was $3.5 million under the annual operating cost when the facility was active. The next highest offer was $7 million followed by offers of $3.1, $1.2 and $1 million dollars.
In April of 2017, the property was sold to the Rogers Group.