CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER

Star couple Sammy Kershaw and Lorrie Morgan cope with death threats.

A man has been arrested after allegedly threatening to kill Sammy Kershaw, Lorrie Morgan and their entire family.

Nashville resident Adrian Washington, 20, has been charged with stalking and harassment. He was an employee of Hotchickens.com, the Nashville-area restaurant owned by Sammy and Lorrie.

Washington allegedly left several anonymous messages on the cellphone of Lorrie's daughter, Morgan, on Nov. 9, saying he would "cut up" her stepfather. When he called again, Sammy answered and spoke with him for 51 minutes as the caller allegedly threatened to rape Lorrie and the other female family members, and kill everyone in the home. He told Sammy he was near the couple's house in Gallatin at the time - and described the cars in the driveway to prove it.

"It was terrible," recalls Sammy. "Here's a guy telling you what he's going to do to you and your whole family. So, hell, I had to move on it. I had to act on it. I can't just sit around."

Sammy called the police, and when a Sumner County deputy arrived, the deputy also talked to the caller - who then threatened to kill him and his family as well. Sammy and Lorrie suspected the caller was Washington, an employee of their restaurant.

Sammy got Washington's number from his job application, and discovered that at least 10 calls from that number had been placed to stepdaughter Morgan's phone. Police arrested Washington the next morning at Woody's Restaurant in nearby Hendersonville, where he also worked a shift.

"We are relieved to know that the police were able to apprehend this man before any of his threats were acted upon," said Lorrie. "There is nothing scarier than to know your family's safety is in danger."

Washington was held under $10,000 bond, and ordered to have no contact with the Kershaw family or business. He was scheduled to appear in court Dec. 1. Sammy says that after the arrest, he began calling police several times a day to make sure Washington hadn't been bailed out.

"Everybody's worried," he says. "We're glad that he's caught, but now we have to worry about later on. We're just trying to stay a step ahead of him."

Nonetheless, Sammy reports that the family is taking the incident in stride. "We're doing what we have to do to get our lives a little bit back to normal," he says. "That's a little tough to do, but everybody's doing a good job."

- CHRIS NEAL

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