Murder victim’s father outraged by Nashville court system and GPS monitor errors

The father of a murder victim is outraged by failures he believes caused his daughter’s death, including new information about the suspected killer’s GPS monitor.

Robert Lance Johansen said the failures cost his daughter her life. He said the suspect should never have been released from jail, as he was, and should have been properly tracked.

“It’s something that no one should have to experience,” Johansen said. “We’ve been crying for a week.”

It’s been just over a week since her daughter Lauren was found dead in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Her ex-boyfriend Bricen Rivers is the alleged killer.

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Rivers has already faced charges for previously beating Lauren in Nashville, something he has been accused of multiple times.

“We knew he would come for Lauren when he got the chance,” Johansen said.

The pain of his loss is a void that will never be filled. Yet he still wants justice.

He said multiple mistakes were made that led to his daughter’s death.

“It is really a failure of the system in many ways,” he said. “I will just tell you that I think this could have been done much better.”

The first, he said, was a reduced bail by Judge Cheryl Blackburn.

Rivers was released on bail on June 24, when we learned the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office released him without bail conditions, even though he had conditions requiring him to wear a court-ordered GPS monitor and remain in the county.

That didn’t happen.

“When he wasn’t supposed to leave after work hours, and he did leave after work hours, it’s just unacceptable to let him loose on such a violent street,” she said.

Two bail bond companies, Brooke’s Bail Bonding and On Time Bail Bonding, failed to pick up his court-ordered GPS monitor from Tracking Solutions.

Brooke’s Bail Bonding said they were unaware of the bail conditions when they took Rivers to the after-hours GPS tracking company Freedom Monitoring.

Brooke’s Bonding denied that they were aware of the bail conditions. The signatures suggested otherwise, which was revealed to Johansen.

“They were not aware of the bail conditions and have been waiting for five days,” he said. “It is clear that this is not true.”

Brooke’s Bail Bonding blamed the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, then the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office blamed the state bail bonds office.

On Tuesday, FOX 17 News learned that the state bail bond office showed us a fax sent to DCSO, which claimed to have the bail conditions, but it turned out that wasn’t true. The Criminal Court Clerk’s Office told us it was a mistake that they forgot to send the bail conditions.

But at the center of it all is a father who has to live with his mistakes.

“There are too many people trying to cover up what happened instead of trying to figure out what happened and how it can be prevented in the future,” he said.

We reached out to the Nashville District Attorney’s Office to find out if they plan to take steps to prevent this from happening again. They said they would look into it.

For Johansen, it is not just about justice for her daughter, but for others as well.

“Lauren Johansen would not only want justice for this, but she would also want to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other woman,” she said.

Johansen said she wants more answers before she is buried Saturday. FOX 17 News will continue to follow this story closely.

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