Ashley & Wynonna Judd Headed To Trial To Stop Release Of Late Mother Naomi’s Death Records & Their Emotional Videotaped Interviews With Sheriff

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Oct. 20 2022, Published 6:00 p.m. ET

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Naomi Judd’s daughters Ashley & Wynonna will be heading to trial next month as part of their battle to keep the police investigation records related to the late country star’s death sealed, has learned.

As previously reported, Naomi’s daughters, along with the singer's late husband Larry Strickland, filed a lawsuit weeks after the singer’s death on April 30, 2022.

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Naomi, 76, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Ashley was at her mom's home when the incident happened.

The family sued Dusty Rhoades, the Sheriff of Williamson County, Tennessee, and added journalists who requested the records as defendants.

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Larry, Ashley & Wynonna argued the release of the material collected by police as part of their investigation would cause them emotional harm. The materials include photos, videos and audio recordings.

As previously reported, part of the investigative file includes a audio recording that Naomi’s friend made of her right before she took her life.

In court, it was revealed by lawyers that there was an “audio recording that was made, apparently, by a friend, and then provided to Mr. Stickland, and then provided to the detectives at a time when Ms. Judd was in distress before she shot herself.”

According to court documents obtained by, the judge presiding over the case set a one-day trial in November where the parties can argue the case before him.

In newly filed documents, Detective Darren Barnes, who worked on the case, will testify that he received a 911 call from Ashley Judd on the day in question.

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A second 911 phone call from a County 911 telecommunicator responding to Ashley is also contained in the file.

The new court documents also reveal the police file — which the Judd family wants to remain sealed — includes handwritten notes from detectives, search warrants obtained by the Sheriff, evidence log of items retrieved from inside the Judd home, gunshot residue kits, forensic medical verification of death of Naomi Judd, body camera photos of gun taken inside Judd residence, and body camera photo of a “Post it” note that Naomi left behind.

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The file also contains 2 photographs of the firearm retrieved from inside the home, 306 photos of inside the residence, the 911 calls, the audio recording made by Naomi’s friend, and body camera footage of Ashley talking to law enforcement on the scene.

The filing also revealed that Ashley and Wynonna both sat for interviews with law enforcement at the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.

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The Sheriff also interviewed Larry while on the patio of a residence of a family member.

The Sheriff and journalists have argued that the majority of the materials should be released. Ashley, Wynonna and Larry are set to face off with the defendants in November.



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