General News

Ex-Tennessee governor tied to contract hit on Hoffa pal, federal witness

A former Tennessee governor’s administration helped pay a homicide contract for a 1979 hit on a federal witness who was buddies with union boss Jimmy Hoffa, authorities mentioned.

The white contract killer wore a wig, faux beard and was in blackface when he gunned down Chattanooga businessman Samuel Pettyjohn, a cooperating witness in a corruption scandal that introduced down the now-dead governor, Hamilton County prosecutors introduced Wednesday.

Pettyjohn had money and jewellery price $100,000 on him when was killed on Feb. 1, 1979 inside a Beverage Mart he owned, authorities mentioned in a information launch.

“Primarily, Mr. Pettyjohn cooperated with authorities and knew an excessive amount of about what was going on regionally, in addition to the state degree, and people didn’t like that and so people employed somebody to homicide him,” Hamilton District Legal professional Neal Pinkston mentioned.

“Right here we’re some 42 years later.”

Ex-Gov. Ray Blanton was beneath investigation on the time of the homicide for allegedly handing out early parole to prisoners in change for money. He was by no means indicted, though three members of his administration had been.

The DA was requested in a information convention on Wednesday how positive he was that Blanton’s administration helped pay for Pettyjohn’s homicide.

Jimmy Hoffa leaves the Federal Building in Nashville, Tenn., June 7, 1962, following his arraignment on a charge of violating the Taft-Hartley act.
Jimmy Hoffa leaves the Federal Constructing in Nashville, Tenn., June 7, 1962, following his arraignment on a cost of violating the Taft-Hartley act.
AP Photograph/Charles Kelly

“I’m very positive,” he mentioned. “I’m proof optimistic.”

Nonetheless, the case is now closed – with Blanton, the alleged gunman and others concerned lengthy useless. However a grand jury heard the brand new proof Tuesday and mentioned it will’ve indicted the killer on a first-degree homicide cost had he been alive.

“Our Chilly Case Unit put in numerous hours to remedy this uncommon case,” Pinkston mentioned in a press release.

“Hopefully, it should carry some closure and peace to Pettyjohn’s surviving members of the family.”

Ray Blanton
Regulation enforcement officers introduced June 9, 2021 the closing of a 42-year-old chilly case of Samuel Pettyjohn, a Chattanooga businessman who was shot and killed in 1979 in a contract killing that former Gov. Ray Blanton’s administration helped pay for.
AP Photograph/File

Pettyjohn was an influential proprietor of a number of companies and nightclubs with ties to the underworld and the Teamsters union, a DA report on the case mentioned.

He helped facilitate the offers within the “cash-for-clemency” scandal and dropped off funds to representatives of the governor’s workplace, prosecutors declare.

When the FBI seemed into the allegations, Pettyjohn gave testimony to a federal grand jury a minimum of as soon as earlier than he began cooperating with the FBI immediately, at one level giving an inventory of names to agent Hank Hillin, the DA report mentioned.

Hillin later wrote a guide on the investigation referred to as “FBI Codename TENNPAR.” By the conclusion of the probe, 5 witnesses had been both murdered or dedicated suicide, prosecutors mentioned.

In 1982, two folks had been arrested for killing Pettyjohn however the expenses had been dismissed.

The chilly case was reopened in 2015. Utilizing previous data and new informants, prosecutors recognized financial institution robber William Edward Alley as Pettyjohn’s executioner. The informants mentioned Alley had netted a contract between $25,000 and $50,000 for the murder-for-hire, prosecutors allege.

Alley died in 2005.

Saadiq Pettyjohn, certainly one of Pettyjohn’s sons, spoke on behalf of his household concerning the new allegations.

“It’s a curse and a blessing to develop up in a household that’s linked to crime,” he mentioned in a press release.

Jimmy Hoffa
A former Tennessee governor’s administration helped pay a homicide contract for a 1979 hit on a federal witness who was mates with Jimmy Hoffa.
AP Photograph/File

“When that individual dies, you possibly can both go that route, or you possibly can go a unique route, and all of us selected to go a greater route with schooling and take a look at to do higher in our lives.”

Blanton died in 1996, however he confronted bother whilst his time as governor got here to a detailed in 1979.

Whereas nonetheless being probed for the scandal, he pardoned and commuted the sentences of greater than 50 prisoners shortly earlier than he was out of workplace, The Related Press reported. Fellow Democrats and Republicans moved up by three days the inauguration of Blanton’s successor consequently, the AP mentioned.

In 1981, he was convicted for extortion and conspiracy for promoting a liquor license to a pal whereas in workplace for $23,000.

With Put up wires

About the author

Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment