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Trial for Hendersonville father accused in daughter's shooting death begins Monday

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Timothy Batts

The trial for a Hendersonville man who says he mistakenly shot and killed his 11-year-old daughter when she startled him after returning home from school is set to begin Monday in Sumner County Criminal Court.

A grand jury indicted Timothy Batts, 30, on charges of reckless homicide, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, giving false reports to police, and tampering with evidence following the Aug. 8, 2016 shooting death of his daughter Timea. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Batts first told Hendersonville police his daughter had been shot shortly after getting off the school bus on her first day of school at Knox Doss Middle School. Police say Batts later changed his story and that even then, his account is not consistent with images captured on surveillance video in his home.

A convicted felon at the time of the shooting incident, Batts' bond was initially set at $1 million, but was lowered to $500,000. The bond was revoked in September after the Hendersonville father tested positive for cocaine. He has remained in the Sumner County Jail awaiting trial.

Around 150 potential jurors are expected to report to Sumner County Criminal Court on Monday. Judge Dee David Gay is expected to address the issue of pre-trial publicity on Monday as well.

Gay denied in May a motion to sequester the jury during the trial. However, he also said then he would take a request for a change of venue under advisement and make his ruling during jury selection.

All four Nashville TV stations as well as the Hendersonville Standard have filed requests with the court to cover the trial that is expected to last four to five days.

Reckless homicide is a Class D felony and carries a possible prison sentence of 2 to 12 years.

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