Man charged in fatal stabbing at Tennessee counseling business has ties to Memphis

Brian Conley, 31

MADISON, Tenn. — The man arrested and charged in the death of a Tennessee woman found stabbed to death at a counseling business was previously arrested in Memphis.

Brian D. Conley, 31, was charged with the “brutal murder” of Melissa Hamilton, who was found dead early Wednesday, Metro Nashville police said in an statement.

Surveillance video showed Conley entering Crossroads Counseling in Madison at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, when the group counseling session she was working with ended, news outlets report, citing another police statement. Hamilton and Conley had a “brief interaction” before the center’s lights were turned off and Conley left through a rear exit, police said.

There’s no indication that he was a client at the center, which provides domestic violence and alcohol and drug treatment counseling, sometimes to court-appointed clients. There’s also no indication that Conley knew Hamilton, police said.

Hours later, Hamilton’s husband of 25 years called police to say that his wife had never come home from work. Responding officers found Hamilton, the center’s assistant director, dead in a back office of the business.

Conley was arrested Thursday just outside of the Madison Public Library, which sits directly across from the counseling center. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer. His right hand had a wound consistent with Hamilton’s stab wounds, police said.

After the incident, WREG received information that Conley had previously lived in the Mid-South so we asked for his records. That’s when we learned he had been arrested back in 2006 by the Memphis Police Department after an armed robbery on Kirby Parkway.

According to the police report, Conley forced a clerk at the Mapco Express to get down on the ground. He then shot him four times in the head with a pellet gun. The pellets became lodged in the man’s skull and had to be surgically removed, police said.

He was sentenced to 15 years in the state penitentiary and released on July 10, 2019 according to state records.

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