SEPT. 8-- Circuit Court Judge Creed McGinley, who is presiding over the trial of Zach Adams in Savannah for the murder of Holly Bobo beginning Saturday with final jury selection, was cited last week for allegedly having a gun in his carry-on bag at Memphis International Airport.
According to the incident report from the Memphis Airport Police Department, McGinley went through screening lane 5 of terminal B at about 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27, on his way to board a flight to Houston.
The Transportation Security Administration screener handling McGinley’s bag notified airport police of a possible gun in a carry-on bag, and those officers reviewed the image of the x-ray, which appeared to show a handgun.
The officers retrieved the bag from the x-ray machine and discovered a black Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm pistol. The bag and McGinley were escorted to the airport police substation, where the gun was removed from the bag and rendered safe.
It was discovered to be loaded with six ball rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber.
According to the report, “McGinley advised he had forgotten the firearm was inside the bag when he submitted it for TSA screening.”
Glen Thomas, director of Strategic Marketing and Communications for the Memphis airport, said that in these instances TSA agents act in their capacity as security screeners. If an incident rises to a possible criminal action, it is referred to local law enforcement authorities for prosecution and sentencing or other disposition of the case.
McGinley was cited by airport police Officer Mark Lott with two state misdemeanor infractions; one for unlawfully entering an area of an airport serving the general public if the entry is in violation of or contrary to security requirements established by federal regulation, and the other for possessing a weapon in a building or on property that is properly posted “No Firearms” in accordance with state law.
Violations of the first infraction are a Class A misdemeanor; violations of the second infraction or a Class B misdemeanor. Both infractions, if the person charged pleads or is found guilty, result in fines.
The report says the FBI was notified of the incident and declined to pursue any possible federal charges, and that McGinley was then informed of his impending court date and released to continue on with his travel.
The gun was held by airport police as evidence. McGinley is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges in Shelby County General Sessions Court on Nov. 13. Courthouse officials did not know whether McGinley has retained an attorney to represent him in the matter.
The Memphis Airport Police report also says McGinley has a valid permit to carry a firearm.
According to the TSA, incidents of firearms being discovered in carry-on bags of air travelers have been rising, with most offenders saying they forgot about the weapon.
In 2016 the TSA reported 3,391 such incidents at airports across the country, or a little more than nine per day. In 2015, there were 2,653 guns discovered in carry-on bags in airports nationwide.
Although the TSA and federal law generally leaves the prosecution of such offenses up to local authorities, TSA guidelines say violations can result in arrest and up to an $11,000 fine, depending on the circumstances.
Generally, a felon in possession of a gun or a non-felon without a valid carry permit will result in an arrest, while those lawfully allowed to carry in the state the airport is located in are usually issued a misdemeanor citation and released, as in McGinley’s case.
The judge declined to comment on the charges against him and there has been no change regarding the start of final jury selection scheduled for Saturday morning at the Hardin County Courthouse.