Award-Winning Songwriter Matt McGinn Charged with Assault

photo via Metro Nashville Police Department

Award-winning songwriter Matt McGinn is part of the increasingly small community of hit country songwriters. Over his 11-year career, McGinn has contributed to the catalogs of performers such as Kane Brown, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Dustin Lynch, Jimmie Allen, and Aaron Lewis. McGinn co-wrote all of the tracks on the new album from Aaron Lewis’s rock band Staind.

Matt McGinn was named SESAC’s Country Songwriter of the Year in both 2018 and 2022. He also won the SESAC Song of the Year for Kane Brown’s “Heaven.” Now Matt McGinn is facing charges for assaulting his girlfriend and refusing to allow her to leave when they got into an altercation.

Matt McGinn has been charged with two felony counts and one misdemeanor stemming from an incident that occurred on Thursday, October 26th in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Nashville. The 35-year-old allegedly pushed his girlfriend to the ground and up against a wall, threatened to kill her and her dog, as well as used his shirt to allegedly attempt to strangle her.

The defendant was able to take out an order of protection against McGinn that detailed the incident in part, and has been reported by numerous outlets. The order of protection reads,

Matthew and I were at his home. We got into a verbal altercation, and I communicated that I wanted to leave. This angered him. He got escalated and began to throw my objects down the stairs, push me down to the ground, and then push me up against a wall. He demanded that I could not leave. He started to threaten my dog by saying, “I will strangle this m***** f****** and “I will kill this b**** to hurt you.” I kept asking him to get away from me, but he was persistent and would not take no for an answer. He then began to threaten me by saying, “I want you to die,” “I want to kill you first.”

He was punching items around me and, at one point, even took off his shirt and wrapped it around my body. He asserted that I would be “allowed to leave” when he was “done with me.” I was terrified. I fled to my car to try and leave, but his car was parked at the top of the driveway, leaving me unable to exit. I eventually called 911, and this prompted Matthew to let me leave.

Matthew is an unpredictable individual who gets escalated without warning. He has been violent with me in the past. In February of (2023), another police report was filed after he pulled in front of my car, forced himself in, and threw a water bottle around.

Subsequently, Saving Country Music has been able to obtain the affidavit and arrest warrant in the case that gives further details into the incident. Also obtained was a Criminal Contempt/Violation of Order of Protection against McGinn after the original Order of Protection was granted and the songwriter continued to harass the alleged victim.

The affidavit for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as attempted assault reads:

The victim and the defendant have been in a relationship for about two years now. On 10/26/2023 at approximately 2100 hours the victim was at the defendant’s house at [address withheld] in Nashville, Tennessee. The victim had recently discovered the defendant had lied to her about staying in a hotel while she was out of town. When she learned this, she called the defendant and asked he come to his residence to speak about this. When the defendant returned, they discussed the situation and the victim decided to leave.

When she attempted top drive away the victim discovered the defendant had blocked his driveway with his car preventing her from leaving. The victim went back inside the residence and asked the defendant to move his car. The defendant agreed to only move his car after she sat down and talked to him more. As they were discussing their relationship, the defendant became irate and began yelling at the victim and calling her derogatory names.

When the victim attempted to leave the residence with her dog, the defendant pushed her down and prevented her from leaving by standing in the doorway. He then grabbed her dog and threatened to strangle it. The victim told the defendant she wanted to go home. The defendant told the victim he wanted her and her dog to die and she needed to “sit the fuck down.” He then told the victim he was going to kill her and slit her dog’s throat if she tried to leave. During his time, the defendant took off his shirt and began to wrap it around her shoulders before stopping for an unknown reason. The victim states she believed the defendant was contemplating strangling her with his shirt.

The victim was able to call 911 and stay on the phone with dispatch. When she told dispatch her boyfriend would not let her leave, the defendant allowed her to walk out of the residence and get into her car. When the defendant got into his car to move it, he drove towards [the] victim’s car in a fast aggressive manner which caused the victim to believe he was going to hit her vehicle with his. The victim was able to drive away and return to her residence. She called police the following day to file a report. The victim was able to play a recording of the argument and threats made she had saved on her phone.

After the order of protection was granted, and Matt McGinn was arrested and in the Davidson County Jail, he attempted to call the alleged victim twice in violation of the order of protection. The criminal contempt violation reads in part,

On 10/28/2023 at 0533 hours Miss Strickland received a call from Davidson Country Sheriff’s Office and did not answer the call. Miss Strickland then received another call at around 0738 hours from the same number, and answered the phone call. When she answered, the voice on the phone stated it was from the Davidson County jail, mumbled the name Matt McGinn, and then the call continued to process through. When the call went through to Miss Strickland could hear the defendant’s voice, and he asked, “What are you doing Carly? I’m in jail.” Miss Strickland told the defendant, “I know. Please do not contact me again,” and then humg up the phone. The defendant is currently in DCSO custody.”

Matt McGinn’s publisher, Boom Music Group, has severed all ties with the songwriter, saying in part, “We have zero tolerance for this behavior.”

McGinn was eventually released on a on a $12,500 bond, and is scheduled to appear in court on November 7th.

Some of the songs McGinn co-wrote include Tim McGraw’s “7500 OBO,” Kane Brown’s “Bury Me In Georgia,” “Like I Love Country Music,” “What Ifs,” and “Heaven,” Dustin Lynch’s “Party Mode,” and Blake Shelton’s “Body Language.”

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