JACKSON, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – UPDATE 10/8/2019 – The Tennessee Parole Board has upheld a recommendation by a parole board member last month to deny parole for convicted attempted murderer and former Collierville attorney Fred Wortman.
His next parole hearing will be held in September 2026.
9/19/2019 – A parole board member has recommended denying parole for a former Collierville attorney convicted of trying to kill his ex-wife three times.
During a hearing in Jackson, Tennessee, Thursday, the board heard testimony from four people from each side on whether to grant parole or deny parole for Fred Wortman. Because of good behavior and work credits, Wortman was scheduled for the parole hearing Thursday, about five years ahead of the original parole date.
Parole board member Gary Faulcon said after several speakers, “I feel that you are high risk Mr. Wortman, based specifically on your past actions alone.”
Wortman was convicted in 2015 for trying to kill his now-ex-wife Staci Jones three times while they were separated. Prosecutors said Wortman tried once with poisoned toothpaste and twice by attempting to hire a hit man, one of whom was an undercover TBI agent.
“I ask you please, do not grant Fred Wortman parole,” Jones said during her statement.
Fighting tears, Jones made that passionate plea, as her imprisoned ex-husband looked on through a video feed. She’s worried about her children’s safety.
“They are afraid of what my happen to us if their father is released from prison,” Wortman said.
Wortman appeared by video from prison at the hearing. Several spoke on his behalf, including his mother Marilyn, who told the parole board, “his father and I humbly plead to give him mercy to allow him to be the person he truly is.”
The 43-year-old also apologized during the hearing.
“No doubt I was selfish, and self-serving in all of my negative choices,” Wortman said.
But those apologies weren’t enough to sway Faulcon, the parole board member who oversaw Thursday’s hearing and made the recommendation to deny parole.
The full seven-member parole board will vote officially in weeks ahead. Four votes are needed to support recommendation to deny his parole.
If the recommendation is approved by the full board to deny parole, Wortman’s next parole hearing would not be until September 2026.