Suspect arrested for 2000 North Nashville murder that formerly convicted man served time for


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Cold Case detectives arrested a man accused of murdering 30-year-old Velma Tharpe more than two decades ago.  

On Tuesday, detectives arrested 51-year-old Calvin Atchison II on a grand jury indictment charging him with first-degree murder. Tharpe died in June of 2000 from strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head and neck. 

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Atchison’s arrest comes after 47-year-old Paul Garrett was previously convicted in Tharpe’s killing. A petition is pending in Criminal Court for his exoneration. Garrett was sentenced to 15 years for involuntary manslaughter but was released from prison in 2011. MNPD said they believe Garrett is innocent.  

According to MNPD, detectives learned of DNA evidence in 2011 that implicated Atchison and have been working to find the right suspect since.  

Atchison was arrested at his Apple Valley Circle home and is being held without bond pending proceedings in Criminal Court. 


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