MARCH 7, 2012 12:03PM

Murder and a Private Developer of Student Housing

Rate: 1 Flag

Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer


A woman was murdered last Friday at The Grove apartment complex in Clarksville, Tennessee. The Grove is the brand name for apartments developed by Charlotte-based Campus Crest Communities.


Ted Rollins, CEO of Campus Crest Communities, has been the subject of frequent posts at Legal Schnauzer for his role in a divorce action that was handled unlawfully here in Shelby County, Alabama. I've called Rollins v. Rollins the most grotesque courtroom cheat job I've encountered in the civil arena.


Ted Rollins has a history of unethical behavior in his personal affairs, so no one should be surprised that bad things keep happening in his business affairs--at the some 30 student-housing complexes he has built around the country. The latest involves a homicide at The Grove near Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. The victim's name was Shardae Wright (photo, above). Here is information from a Clarksville Police Department press release:


On March 3rd, 2012, Clarksville Police officers responded to a shots fired call at Building 6, 1523 Nolen Road and found a deceased female in the bathtub with gunshot wounds.


The victim’s name is Shardae Wright (B/F, DOB: 11/9/88) of Clarksville, TN. No further information is available.


Some Web research reveals that 1523 Nolen Road is the address for The Grove in Clarksville. Those are the apartments that Campus Crest Communities (and Ted Rollins) built to provide students with a "fully loaded" living experience. In some cases, unfortunately, that can involve fully loaded guns.


Nicholas Rico Durant, Wright's boyfriend, has been arrested and charged with murder. From Wright's hometown newspaper in Ashley County, Arkansas:


Shardae Wright, 23, a 2007 Hamburg High School graduate and a member of the U. S. Army at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was shot to death shortly after midnight Friday, and her boyfriend is in custody on a charge of criminal homicide.


Wright was living in Clarksville, Tennessee. According to a press release from the Clarksville Police Department, witnesses said that Wright had come to their apartment in Clarksville and her boyfriend, Nicholas Rico Durant, 21, of Clarksville came after her, pointing a gun at her in front of witnesses. When witnesses ran to get help, they heard several gunshots.


The Ashley County Ledger ran a photograph showing multiple bullet holes in Wright's apartment door at The Grove.


This is not the first time young people have come to physical harm at a Grove complex. The most widely publicized event came at the University of North Texas, where three young men were severely injured in a balcony collapse. The victims in Denton, Texas, suffered a total of 11 broken bones in the fall.


Should anyone expect Ted Rollins to be concerned about the rising number of people who come to harm on his properties? Given that Mr. Rollins has shown disregard for his own flesh and blood living in Alabama, I would say no.


Sherry Carroll Rollins, Ted's ex wife, lives in Birmingham with the couple's daughters, Sarah and Emma Rollins. Ms. Rollins and the girls have qualified for food stamps because of the stunningly favorable divorce judgment that Ted Rollins received from Shelby County Circuit Judge D. Al Crowson.


You might think that a court would look down on Ted Rollins, given that public records show he is a deadbeat dad for failing to provide family support as ordered by a court in South Carolina, where Sherry Rollins initiated divorce proceedings. But you would be wrong; Mr. Rollins was able to file a divorce action in Alabama and have it unlawfully heard, apparently because he has ties to the powerful Birmingham law firm Bradley Arant.


Bradley Arant acts as the primary corporate law firm for Campus Crest Communities. If Shardae Wright's family files a wrongful-death lawsuit against Ted Rollins' company, you can rest assured that Bradley Arant, or its acolytes, will somehow be involved.



Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
I'm not following. What is the wrongful death lawsuit based on?
There is no wrongful-death lawsuit yet, that I know of. This just happened last Friday. My post said, "If Shardae Wright's family files a wrongful-death lawsuit . . . ", raising that as a possibility down the road. I'm not a lawyer, so I can only guess at possible grounds for such a claim. But if the family were to hire a lawyer, I suspect he/she would look closely at security (or lack thereof) at the complex, safety procedures, etc. There is a legal doctrine called "premises liability," and that probably would be in play. That essentially makes the owner of property liable for injuries that occur on his property. A lot of folks think that sounds unfair, and I would not necessarily disagree with that. But premises liability is a very real concept under the law, and I'm sure Campus Crest is well insured for events such as this. If such a suit takes place, Campus Crest probably will argue a concept called "contributory negligence," arguing that Ms. Wright caused her own untimely death.
I thought that the first one to file in whatever state is where the decree is granted. I guess that's only for regular folks?
Desnee: That is the law. In the Rollins case, the couple lived in Greenville, SC, and Sherry Rollins filed for divorce there. Jurisdiction was established, and the case was litigated for three-plus years. When Ted Rollins failed to pay court-ordered mortgage payments, Ms. Rollins and the couple's two daughters were booted from their home and forced to flee to Alabama, where Ms. Rollins had relatives. Ted Rollins then proceeded to sue Ms. Rollins for divorce in Alabama, and that's where a judge unlawfully heard the case and issued a judgment. Can't be done, under the law. But it was done for Ted Rollins. Classic case of money buying "justice."
Roger I'm constantly amazed that a country which proclaims that the rule of law is paramount disregards said laws at every given turn. It sickens me to see injustice reign supreme while justice lies lifeless in the streets.
Desnee: It is amazing. Another out-of-date phrase we all were taught in school: "We are a nation of laws, not of men." In fact, we are a nation of men (and, in some cases, women) who twist and abuse the law for their own selfish (and political) purposes. That George W. Bush wanted to transport American democracy to Iraq and other places is a sick joke. No president did more to soil our democracy, and he had numerous enablers in the justice department, on federal and state benches, and in the bar.