Man, who bonded out in Nashville, now accused in death of Mississippi woman

    Man, who bonded out in Nashville, now accused in death of Mississippi woman

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A man who was arrested in Nashville for nearly beating his girlfriend to death is now the primary suspect in her death in Mississippi.

    Bricen Rivers, 23, is the suspect in the death of Lauren Johansen on Wednesday, according to what local police officials reported. That woman’s family spokesperson called NewsChannel 5 on Thursday morning to confirm it was her. Police found her dead inside a vehicle after her family had reported her missing. Rivers is now charged with one count of homicide and a bail of $1 million.

    Police found Johansen after a call for a welfare concern at a local cemetery. Upon arrival, deputies encountered Rivers running from a vehicle into the woods in the area. Mississippi agencies located Rivers in the woods several hours later and arrested him.

    However, Rivers was recently let out on bond in Nashville in the last few days. The family spokesperson said Johansen and her family weren’t notified of River’s release in Nashville. They said the system failed Johansen.

    “We opposed the reduced bond that was ordered by Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Blackburn,” said Steve Hayslip, the spokesperson for the Nashville District Attorney’s Office. “We do not have anything to do with bond conditions. Those are imposed by the judge and overseen by community corrections.”

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    Submitted to WTVF

    Lauren Johansen is now the victim of a homicide in Mississippi after a man who had been her boyfriend bonded out of a Nashville jail only days prior to her death.

    He was charged in December with two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated stalking and witness coercion. This stemmed from an incident while he and the victim were vacationing downtown, where he got angry.

    Metro police said the victim called them and told her family Rivers might kill her. The victim’s family called dispatch from out of state to relay what was happening.

    While the couple was leaving downtown, they got in the car where police said Rivers began hitting the victim as he was driving and took her phone. Rivers eventually stopped the car in a parking lot where the assault continued, causing the victim to nearly lose consciousness.

    Officers worked with the victim’s family to obtain her location in North Nashville, where the couple’s rental car was found at an intersection. Metro police said officers could hear the victim banging on the vehicle as she tried to escape the attack. While she was able to get out of the car upon officers’ arrival, police said Rivers was seen reaching for a firearm in the back seat, but authorities were able to interrupt him. He was then taken into custody.

    His original bond was $251,000, according to police records. However, that bond had been lowered to $150,000 inside Judge Blackburn’s court.

    Records show Rivers was arraigned in April, and his last court date was July 2. Two different companies — Brooke’s Bail Bonding and On Time Bail Bonds — provided $75,000 each for Rivers to bail out. Further court records are unavailable because of the Fourth of July holiday.

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    All counties: Morning Star Sanctuary – (615) 860-0188 / Nurture the Next – (615) 383-0994 / The Mary Parrish Center – (615) 256-5959 / YWCA Nashville – (615) 983-5160

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    Clay County: Genesis House – (931) 525-1637

    Davidson County: Family & Children Services – (615) 320-0591 / Family Safety Center – (615) 880-1100 / Jean Crowe Advocacy Center – (615) 862-4767

    Dickson and Hickman Counties: Women Are Safe (931) 729-9885

    Giles County: The Shelter, Inc. – (931) 762-1115

    Grundy County: Families in Crisis, Inc. – (931) 473-6543

    Houston / Montgomery Counties: Urban Methodist Urban Ministries Safehouse – (931) 648-9100

    Maury County: Center of Hope – (931) 840-0916

    Robertson / Sumner / Wilson Counties: HomeSafe Inc. – (615) 452-5439

    Rutherford County: Domestic & Sexual Assault Center – (615) 896-7377

    Williamson County: Bridges Domestic Violence Center – (615) 599-5777

    This club witnessed the early days of the AIDS crisis and decided to do something about it.

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    -Carrie Sharp

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