Widow Questions Other Officers’ Role In Deputy’s Death
DICKSON, Tenn. — Dickson County Sheriff’s Deputy Keith Bellar was ambushed last year, and authorities closed the case almost immediately.
But, now, Bellar’s widow is hearing from his fellow officers that investigators may ignored key evidence — evidence that could have embarrassed the local law enforcement community.
Those are allegations that, Brandi Bellar said, local authorities refuse to investigate.
Keith Bellar was gunned down last year in the line of duty. Compounding the tragedy of that day, Brandi says, has been the response to her pleas for answers from those local authorities.
“I understand why they are not grieved, but I don’t understand why they don’t care,” Brandi said.
A Dickson County man had rammed his estranged wife’s car.
That man, Jayson Eggenberg, shot Deputy Bellar in the head, before turning the gun on himself.
“It was almost 35 minutes after the shooting that I found out and that will haunt me for the rest of my life — to know that they didn’t even have the decency to call me,” Brandi recalled.
In those first hours, Keith’s mom began to question how the investigation was being handled.
“I just thought it was unusual with a police officer that the TBI was not called,” Debbie Bellar said.
Instead, Dickson police investigated the shooting — despite the fact that the shooter’s wife was a dispatcher for the department.
“I find that odd,” Brandi said. “I find that odd that her employer is allowed to investigate when she is directly involved in it.”
And the story that emerged was that Eggenberg, a man with a history of emotional problems, had become paranoid that his wife might be having affairs with some police officers or deputies — an allegation she has insisted wasn’t true.
“They just kept telling me that he was just crazy, he was just some crazy lunatic who went off,” the widow remembered.
Then, this past fall, Brandi said, she began to hear from other officers. They felt it was time she knew the truth about why Deputy Bellar may have been killed, the truth about how other officers might have blood on their hands.
“After I received those phone calls from those officers, I began to understand that he was provoked, and I felt sorry for Jayson,” she said.
She felt sorry because those callers told Brandi that the mentally unstable Eggenberg had been taunted by text messages from two area officers, boasting that they were indeed fooling around with his wife.
“Because Keith looks like one of these officers, perhaps Jayson thought he was shooting that officer,” Brandi said.