Local News

Wilson Murder Suspect's Family Tried To Have Him Put In Jail

Posted May 19, 2005 6:49 a.m. EDT

— A murder suspect's family says he should have been in jail long before police arrested him last weekend on charges that he killed his wife.

Archie Bryant Sr., the father of accused killer Archie Bryant Jr., says his son was no stranger to police or jail. Court records show he was caught five times for cocaine use; he was caught driving when he was not allowed; and he was arrested one week before his wife's death for eluding police. They also show that Bryant had no history of assault or domestic violence.

Bryant is currently in jail without bond.

On Thursday, family and friends buried the woman Bryant is accused of beating to death, Pam Bryant.

The suspect's family said they tried to get him put in jail months ago for violating probation.

"My wife sent a letter to Wilson County sheriff's. My sister sent a letter to Wilson County sheriff's. I talked to them. This has been going on a year," Bryant Sr. said.

On his last arrest, Bryant was committed to Cherry Psychiatric Hospital with orders to be picked up later by police. The paperwork from the Wilson County District Attorney's Office, however, never made it.

Instead of heading to jail, Pam Bryant took her husband home.

The sheriff's department and the district attorney said that even if police had picked Bryant up, a low bond would have been set and he could have been back on the street.

"I know this won't bring my daughter-in-law back, but I want to help another family not go through this tragedy I'm going through," Bryant Sr. said.

He also said that despite his best efforts to do the right thing, he is now forced to deal with the guilt of his daughter in-law's death. Archie Bryant Sr. believes there would not have been a funeral Thursday if his son had been in jail.

"I lost a daughter and a son over this," Bryant Sr. said. "Pam Bryant didn't deserve what she got."