PHOTO: Jonathon Kyle Elliott appears via video call at his March 27, 2019, arraignment at the Williamson County Courthouse in Franklin, Tenn. // Photo by Rachael Long


An Antioch man, Jonathon Kyle Elliott, 23, was arraigned Wednesday morning at the Williamson County Courthouse in connection with the 2017 New Year’s Day homicide in Nolensville.

Elliott is charged with six felony counts, including felony first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault resulting in death, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony.

Nolensville police officers responded to a call on the evening of January 1, 2017, after 43-year old Robert Ward was shot and killed inside his home at 9849 Sam Donald Road.

A 10-year old child was inside the home at the time of the incident and was not injured, according to a report by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

TBI agents worked with the Nolensville Police Department to investigate the homicide and arrested two men in connection with Ward’s death: Elliott and Miles Richardson Holt, of Franklin.

In April of 2018, Holt pleaded no contest to five charges, including second degree murder, aggravated assault and reckless homicide.  

According to a Jan. 11, 2017 affidavit, Elliott stated in a recorded phone call that he had stashed the firearm used in the shooting and acknowledged going to a house in Nolensville with Holt to use the firearm.

Shell casings found at Holt’s residence and inside his vehicle match three casings found at the crime scene. The affidavit, signed by TBI Agent Tyler Sells, states that TBI agents have cause to believe Elliott shot into the residence from the driveway, resulting in Ward’s death.

Elliott appeared before Judge Joseph A. Woodruff by video call during the arraignment Wednesday morning and was represented in person by criminal defense attorney Rob McKinney.

While the case has had numerous changes since 2017, McKinney said his own medical procedure caused a delay in the trial. After several hearings related to his initial charges, a grand jury issued Elliott a superseding indictment with new charges, including felony first-degree murder.

McKinney later called it “a strange case” with “an interesting backstory.”

Elliott has been in the Williamson County Jail since his 2017 arrest. His four-day trial is now set for Aug. 19, with a motion hearing in May.

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