NASHVILEE _ Two prosecutors in the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office resolved the cold case murder of 25-year-old Jose Avenado in Davidson County Criminal Court in Nashville today.
Executive Assistant District Attorney Cameron Williams said Adam and Ricky Saysongkham both agreed to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and serve six years in prison. District Attorney General Neal Pinkston said General Williams and Assistant District Attorney AnCharlene Davis were asked to serve as special prosecutors because a witness provided information to a Nashville Assistant DA, who is a potential witness in the case.
This case goes back to April 18, 2007. A little past 3 a.m., Nashville police responded to Dominion House Apartments located on Lindbar Drive in Davidson County. There they located the victim, Jose Avenado, who had been awakened by gunshots and apparently looked out his window and was struck by one round in the neck. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The Metro Nashville Police Department began an investigation and collected evidence that included shell casings, two shirts and a necklace that belonged to one of the suspects. Eyewitnesses told investigators that they were in the parking lot when they observed a vehicle enter the parking lot. Two suspects exited the vehicle and began to break into a Silver Honda Civic. The eyewitnesses confronted the suspects and a brief altercation ensued. During the altercation, one of the suspects lost two shirts and a necklace. Both suspects, described as young males of Asian descent, fled the area. A short time later, one of the eyewitnesses said he heard several gunshots outside of his apartment complex, which is the same complex Avenado resided in. It is believed one of the gunshots the eyewitness heard struck Avenado and killed him.
Nashville police later identified a suspect, and an eyewitness identified him in a lineup. However, the case was dismissed in 2007 because the witnesses failed to appear in court. The case went cold.
The Metro Nashville Police Department’s Cold Case Unit reopened the case in 2017, when Detective Mike Roland received information from a “concerned citizen” regarding Avenado’s murder. The information implicated Adam and Ricky Saysongkham and a third individual as the people responsible for the death of Avenado.
Two of the eyewitnesses were offered and signed Immunity agreements before providing the crucial information needed to solve the case. Adam Saysongkham was 17 and his brother Ricky was 19 at the time of the murder. General Williams said Nashville police as well as the victim’s family supported the plea agreement and the resolution of the case.