Man Arrested in Nashville Facing Murder Charge in Detroit

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DETROIT, MI – An employee of a school in Nashville, Tennessee was arrested and extradited back to Detroit to face a murder charge.

Howard Copeland, 31-years-old, formerly of Detroit, was booked into the Hill Detention Center around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday March 6th, 2019.

Howard Copeland

Photo Credit: Nashville Police

Howard Copeland, who was employed by Catapult Learning in Nashville, faced a judge on Friday March 15th, 2019. He was charged with second degree murder and weapons charges.

Copeland, who was living on Northlawn Street in Detroit at the time, got into an argument with Dernard Davon Burton, 24-years-old, of Detroit, on December 27th, 2018. The argument took place outside of a strip club located in the 8140 block of Michigan Avenue. It is alleged that Howard Copeland shot Dernard Burton. Burton was privately transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Copeland was fired from Catapult Learning after they became aware of the murder charge that he is facing. He was hired in December of 2018. The school released the following statement in response to Copeland’s charges:

“Catapult Learning conducts extensive background checks before making any hiring decisions. Regarding this employee, all state and federal background checks, including fingerprint analysis, came back clear for hiring purposes. Catapult Learning takes allegations of unlawful activity against its employees very seriously.

After learning of the alleged offense, we immediately terminated his employment and are cooperating with law enforcement while the situation is investigated. The safety of our students is our number one priority. Our focus is and always will be on following protocols that provide our children with a safe-environment for learning.”

Catapult Learning works with students in grades 1-12 who have emotional and learning disabilities.

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