William Talley, a convicted sex offender who became a prominent liberal voice on Twitter while delaying sentencing for eight years via evidentiary appeals, has been arrested for manufacturing methamphetamines.
According to Fox 17 News in Nashville, South Precinct detectives found Talley ‘cooking’ the infamous drug with a man named Dickey Noah when they investigated an anonymous complaint about an apartment on Murfreesboro Pike, one of Talley’s old haunts. Searching the residence, they discovered “multiple items used for the manufacturing of methamphetamine.”
Police found Coleman fuel, ground up pseudoephedrine, empty pseudoephedrine packs, lye, ammonium nitrate, HCL gas generator, lithium batteries and a tool to cut the batteries among other items.
In August of 2005, Talley was a home medical supply entrepreneur when Nashville police responded to an anonymous complaint regarding his condominium. Inside, they found prescription drugs, cocaine, and a large collection of child pornography. He appealed to quash the evidence on the grounds of an illegal search, but he was ultimately denied by the Tennessee State Supreme Court in March of 2010.
After a long series of unsuccessful legal maneuvers that included a petition to the United States Supreme Court, Talley finally pleaded guilty to three charges, including Class B Felony Exploitation of a Minor, on February 8, 2013.
Talley possessed thousands of pornographic images and videos of children in a folder on his computer desktop, on the CDs in his office safe, and printed out and tucked into his briefcase. Altogether, more than 100 children were identified in the collection, 59 of whom have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Talley had logged on to Twitter for the first time in October 2008, telling no one of his legal troubles, and by 2013 he had built an impressive Twitter following of ten thousand liberal and progressive users at @Political_Bill. By participating in popular hashtags and holding many conversations, he earned so much respect that a Twitter-focused progressive startup called UniteBlue named him to their nonprofit board in the very same month that he finally pleaded guilty.
At his sentencing, Talley’s attorney tried to use his social media ‘leadership’ as evidence of his client’s value to the community.
Detective Chad Gish testified that he had put over three hundred hours of work into disproving Talley’s elaborate contention that malware was responsible for images and videos popping up uninvited, and that he just had to save, print, and keep all that foul material so he could block it from his computers…later. Someday.
Prosecutor Deborah Housel quoted a psychosexual report already entered into evidence: William Talley “presents as one to whom the rules do not apply.” In fact, Talley is a glib, almost pathological liar and perpetual fabricator. It makes him a smooth operator, but his narcissism still shines through at times.
With his sentencing delayed until the end of May, Talley was confronted with his guilty plea on Twitter during March and April. Unwilling to answer directly, he tried threats, turned his followers against his accusers, and made endless denials. Former followers shared direct messages with me that show Talley gaslighting critics and spreading disinformation.
These tactics worked on some people. A small cadre of Talley’s Twitter supporters began ‘doxing,’ cyberstalking, and smearing people who tweeted about his guilty plea. Perhaps because of the interest the case drew from sectors of the ‘hacking collective’ known as Anonymous, their conspiracy theories and deranged behavior only became more bizarre over time. During September of 2013, Talley’s partisans even concocted a ‘Twitter drama’ that succeeded in sending the FBI to find me.
After serving one year in prison, Talley eventually returned to Twitter, gaining thousands more followers before his arrest this February. He was charged with violating the state’s sex offender registration law in 2014, but the case was later dismissed.
If convicted of manufacturing methamphetamines, it will be Talley’s second Class B felony. He faces 8-30 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine. Charged with violating the terms of his probation and possession of drug paraphernalia as well as manufacturing meth, he is being held on $58,500 in bonds.
Contrary to his projected image of a successful businessman, Talley is bankrupt, and will probably never be able to post that high of a bond. He may not tweet again for a long time.