UPDATE, May 29: An indecent exposure charge against Jerome Powell was dismissed last week due to lack of prosecution.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A South Memphis man says he wants to clear his name after accusations of trying to lure kids into a hearse and touching himself got him arrested.
“All I’m trying to do is clear my name. I got nothing to hide,” Jerome Powell said to WREG outside his South Memphis home.
Powell tells a different story from the one that police and witnesses tell about what happened at the Pendleton Place Apartments Sunday.
They say he was trying to lure kids into a funeral hearse he was driving around. WREG spotted the same one at his home Tuesday.
Antonio Bledsoe, a witness of the event, says he heard Powell ask a girl if she wanted “a ride with a dead body.”
WREG asked Powell if he had a dead body in his hearse.
“I ain’t never rode with no dead body. I never had nobody in the back. I don’t do drugs in that car, I never had sex in that car, respect that car for what it is,” Powell said. “That’s my personal car. A lot of folks have cars that don’t have bodies in it.”
What’s more, police say he exposed himself in front of children. That’s why he was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.
“They’ll say anything to try to incriminate my name just because I have a history with the police,” Powell said.
WREG checked Powell’s criminal background. He was convicted for contributing to the delinquency of a minor in 2013.
Police say he tried to give marijuana to a girl at a bus stop in exchange for sexual favors. We also know he had a mental evaluation in 2010 but we haven’t seen the results.
“They found I was sane. I’m not insane. I got sense enough to know what’s going on. I’m a grown man. I respect the streets,” Powell said.
WREG also uncovered video today showing Powell at the Confederate 901 rally in January. He’s seen wearing Nazi symbols and standing by himself.
He soon drove off in the same tan car our cameras spotted parked behind his home as well.
WREG asked Powell why he was wearing Nazi symbols and at the Confederate 901 rally.
“I can do whatever I want to do. It’s a free country,” Powell said.
While that’s true, police say his activity on Sunday was not legal. He was released on a bond of just $100.
Powell says that proves the case against him is weak.