Tennessee lawyer accused of rape, kills himself when confronted by police in Alabama

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A Tennessee attorney wanted on rape charges reportedly killed himself on Thursday when confronted by police in Alabama, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said on Friday.

David Whelan, 49, an attorney from Murfreesboro was wanted on multiple rape charges including aggravated and rape of a teenage girl who had been babysitting his daughter, FOX 17 of Nashville reported.

The girl who managed to escape, later called the police after the alleged attack, according to the report.

“During the course of [TBI’s] investigation, agents developed information indicating that David Whelan forced or coerced female clients into sex as a way to re-pay their attorney fees,” TBI said in a June release.

Whelan who had been under investigation since February 2019, has been on the run since early September when police said he failed to appear in court on his charges. He was also charged with aggravated kidnapping and other sexual offenses.

After he was declared a wanted fugitive, Whelan allegedly changed his appearance to evade arrest 

Raymond Smiles, the assistant chief inspector for the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, said officers received a tip about Whelan being on a boat at the Sundowner Marina, off Dauphin Island Parkway, in Mobile, on Wednesday night. The next morning, a group of five officers approached Whelan after 6 a.m. while he was on the boat.

TBI said Whelan was found in Alabama on Thursday.

“When confronted by officers, Whelan reportedly produced a weapon and shot himself, resulting in his death,” TBI tweeted. “That set of events remains under investigation by authorities in AL.”

The bureau didn’t say which police agency confronted Whelan.

“That set of events remains under investigation by authorities,” the agency said.

Prior to this, TBI had asked the public for help on Twitter on September 4 in locating Whelan.


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