Firefighter wanted for felony in police custody - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Firefighter wanted for felony in police custody

Jesse Powell, photo courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Office. Jesse Powell, photo courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

(WMC-TV) – A Memphis firefighter accused of attacking his 16-year-old daughter is in custody, Memphis police said Tuesday.

Police issued a warrant for the arrest of the eight-year veteran of the Memphis Fire Department Monday after a run-in with his daughter allegedly escalated into a domestic felony.

Investigators say Powell choked his daughter during a domestic confrontation. There were no serious injuries and no weapons used, but a change in state law this year elevated this to a felony.

The new law in Tennessee classifies strangulation as an "aggravated assault," meaning it's now considered a felony rather than a misdemeanor.

If someone is convicted of the crime, the sentence can range between three and six years.

"We are aware that a warrant has been issued for firefighter Powell's arrest," said Battalion Chief Keith Staples, of the Memphis Fire Department. "At this point, we are not aware of any arrest that has been made. Therefore, the status of Powell in relation to the Memphis Fire Department has not changed."

Battalion Chief Keith Staples, of the Memphis Fire Department, told Action News 5 that when a member of the department is arrested, an internal investigation will follow. The fire fighter is then released with pay pending the outcome of the administrative investigation.

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