In a moment not witnessed before in Cumberland County Criminal Court, everything came to a halt as tribute was paid to a Crossville police investigator with words and a moment of silence.
Criminal Court Judge Gary McKenzie asked court officers, attorneys and defendants to bow in a moment of silence “to think about him, his family, members of the Crossville Police Department and other officers in the police family.”
The tribute was for CPD Det. Sgt. Jason Wilson, an 12-year veteran of the the department, who died suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday morning during what is being described as an “acute asthma attack.”
McKenzie told the hushed courtroom that he was approached by attorneys with the 13th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office who suggested a moment of silence be observed.
“I always found Det. Wilson to be an even-handed law enforcement officer,” McKenzie said. “He was a very reasonable law enforcement officer. He was respected in the community and by his peers.”
At the end of his announcement, McKenzie asked that heads be bowed in respect for Wilson and his family.
Wilson was born in Anniston, AL, and graduated from Cumberland County High School in 1999. He joined CPD as a patrolman and climbed the ranks to detective. Most recently he graduated from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Fire and Codes academy for fire investigators.
In a press release issued mid-morning on Thursday, CPD announced Wilson’s passing. It noted that the detective was a member of the CPD honor guard, an ASP baton instructor, and a RAD instructor. He had been a state correction officer prior to joining the city force.
“Our hearts are saddened and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Wilson family in their time of loss and sorrow,” the press release prepared by Capt. Brian Eckelson read. “Our agency is a family and we have lost a beloved brother, a devoted public servant and friend.”
The press release ended, “Jason, your watch has ended. You have served our city with distinction and honor. You will be forever missed. We love you.”
Wilson is survived by his wife, Leah Pilgrim Wilson; daughters, Kiara, Alessandra “Ali” and Kellie; parents, Ernest and Barbara Wilson, all of Crossville; brother, Eric of Galveston, TX; sister, Amie Higdon of Crossville; and mother-in-law, Bobbie Pilgrim of Crossville.
A celebration of life service will be held Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church off S. Main St. in Crossville. The family will receive friends on that day from 11 a.m. until the service starts.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Jason Wilson Memorial Fund for First Responders at First National Bank in Crossville.