Monday, August 29, 2011

Citizens disgusted with drugs march in Union County

A tip of the hat to the 4,000 people in the small East Tennessee town of Maynardville, for spending a Sunday afternoon expressing how harmful meth and abused drugs have damaged their community. Maybe the word will get out that drug pushers are not welcome in Maynardville. I hope Mathew Cantrell has a full recovery from the drug impaired driver who crushed his leg. Read about it on the WBIR television website at:

Tennessee authorities expect surge in heroin use

Read this disturbing story in the Tennessean. Apparently heroin is now cheaper that abusing prescription drugs and it is being heavily and deceiptfully marketed.

Time for ZOOM ZOOM to man up

An alleged drag race in Clarksville ended with three people in the hospital and one of the run from the law. The driver of one car fled the scene leaving three injured people behind, including a two year old.
Perhaps a driver with the guts to drag race on a city road should have the guts to face the consequences.
The vehicle that fled was a flat red color and may have been a Mazda, possibly a '90s model, with a decal on the rear which said “Zoom, Zoom." It is not known whether the driver was male or female.
The idiot who was racing with a 2 year old in the car was lifeflighted with the 2 year old to Vanderbilt Hospital. He will be facing the consequences in the near future.
Read more about this example of irresponsible idiocy in the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle at:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It is National Stop on Red Week

The Traffic Safety coalition has produced a video of red light intersection crashes to emphasize the need for drivers to stop for red lights. Some of the images are disturbing. If you want to see it, the link is below.
I think most of us recognize that running a red light is a crime and most of us were not raised to commit crimes. Red light runners are dangerous and they kill over 900 people per year in the United States. So, my message is consistent with the Coalition. Don't run red lights. It is the law for a reason.
The video is at:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Driver smashes into restaurant

It happens fairly often. A drinking driver flees and loses control and ends up in a building. What makes this one bizarre is the driver. He is out on a bond of $3,500 despite the fact he was driving while on bond for another DUI. He was allegedly driving with a suspended license. He was previously employed as a magistrate, who set bonds for DUI cases and many others. He is, of course, presumed innocent unless he is proven guilty.
Read about it in the Tennessean at:

Bond Company Discounts

The Chattanooga Times Free Press had an excellent story Sunday about the shambles that is our bond system. It mentions a vehicular homicide case in which the defendant had a $108,000 bond after he reoffended with a DUI while on bond for the homicide. He paid a bondsman $3,750 to make his 10% bond and then picked up yet another DUI.
Something about the math and the danger does not add up.

Read the story at:

Friday, August 19, 2011

2 DUI's in 3 hours

A 23 year old mother was arrested for DUI in Baltimore, Md. She was released to a sober friend, who apparently took her back to her car. She was arrested again 3 hours later with a 4 year old child in the car.
No nomination for mother of the year for this woman.
Read about it in the Baltimore Sun at:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

12 years for Vehicular Homicide in Nashville

The driver, Percy Thompson, lost control of his car, spun out and hit a car in which a three year old child was killed. Thompson pled guilty Monday and was sentenced to 11 years for vehicular homicide by intoxication and one consecutive year for leaving the scene. Thompason had a Blood Alcohol Content of .23.
Read the story on WKRN's website at:

Friday, August 12, 2011

New decision: Consecutive sentence affirmed

In State v Boldus the 19 year old driver with a blood alcohol content of .11 pled guilty to vehicular homicide by recklessness and leaving the scene. His four + one consecutive sentence was affirmed. His request for alternative sentencing was denied.
The defendant and victim were underage and drinking the night of the crash. To the defendant's credit, he wore a SCRAM bracelet on bond from December 2009 until his sentencing which confirmed he had consumed no alcohol during that time. Let's hope that the behavior that led to this tragedy is never repeated and that the victim family, defendant and defendant family heal.
One teen will never come home again. Boldus was the lucky one in this case.
The case is at:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Triple drunk" wrong way driver gets 10 years for homicide

In Cleveland Tiffany Isaza has learned her fate. She had previously pled guilty to vehicular homicide by intoxication and has recieved a 10 year sentence.
She had a BAC level of .24 when she slammed into 24 year old Dustin Ledford last year. A Wal Mart security camera captured the last 10 minutes of his life.
Dustin's mom has been a proponent of a change to the aggravated vehicular homicide law in the Tennessee General Assembly. She plans to continue her effort to strengthen the law.

Read about the case at:

Preventing child deaths in hot cars

It seems that every summer we read and hear about tragic cases in which a driver decided he/she could leave the child in the car while he/she runs into the store to get a few groceries. Sometimes you can replace store with bar and groceries with drinks. Other times you can replace store with drug dealer etc. No matter the reason leaving the child in a hot car can be and too often is fatal.
Our friends at NHTSA are trying to put a new and greater emphasis on this situation to save some children from a horrible fate.
Read about the NHTSA efforts and remember that a hot car effects a child more seriously and more quickly than an adult.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hit and Run drivers drive me crazy!

No one should ever benefit from committing a crime. Way too often people who injure and kill leave the scene of the carnage they caused. Many turn themselves in after the alcohol has left their system. Others don't even do that and are only found after painstaking investigations. When they are prosecuted they face a class E felony if they have killed or Class A misdemeanor if they have injured. If intoxicated when they killed or injured, the penalty would have been much greater. They benefit by committing the crime of leaving the scene. They also show the world what matters to them and it is not the poor injured of deceased person they left on the roadside. Their fellow human beings are nothing to them. They exhibit by their actions what they value.
In the Sevierville newspaper a story is told about two young men who allegedly ran into a woman on a horse with their cars. The woman suffered injuries. The horse died. The young men kept going. The young men are presumed innocent. Eventually the Courts will sort out any culpability issues. In the meantime we should remember our great responsibility to care for one another in times of need. Never accept that leaving a crash scene is anything less than immoral and horrible!
Read about the case at:

Friday, August 5, 2011

George Washington gets 25 years for aggravated vehicular homicide

The Court of Criminal Appeals has affirmed a 25 year sentence in State v Washington. The crash occurred in May 2004. Washington went to turn left and turned directly in front of a motorcycle killing the driver. Washington had 6 prior DUI's and nothing previously ordered stopped him from driving with a BAC over .30.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Naked and tased

A Florida deputy was sent to look for a reckless driver and found him, naked and drunk in a Dodge Intrepid on the shoulder of the highway.. The naked man, Kelly Bachmeier, 43, refused to get out. The man refused to raise his hands and what followed from the taser had to sting. Bachmeier had a blood alcohol content over .30.
Bachmeier had an expired North Dakota license. The story makes no mention of any sunburn.

Read about this judgment impaired individual at:

Vehicular Homicide gets 15 years

In Lawrenceburg Tennessee Terry Michael Gibson, 24, has pled guilty in the tragic case in which he killed his passengers. He was driving intoxicated and crashed. Two of his passengers, Misty McWorter, 17, and Devin Prince, 15, died due to crash injuries. Two more Blake Clem, 15, and Sarah Burkes, 21, were injured.
Please keep the victims and their families and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Read more at:

Slow wheels of justice revisited

In speaking of the slow wheels of justice, which included a reference to 10 month old DUI's in Sessions Court in Nashville, I did not mean to criticize the Nashville DA's office in any way. That office like the office in Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga diligently handles thousands of DUI cases per year. So far this year the Nashville office has closed 2, 262 DUI cases.
We don't win them all. Things happen. For instance one former Nashville DUI officer is facing felony charges and he will not be called as a witness in cases in which he made the arrest.
My point was and is that one aspect of our efforts as prosecutors must be to do what we can to prevent unneccessary delay. In Hamilton County more than one lawyer took pride in trying to make cases last two or three years. One lawyer would tell his client they would have to plead guilty, but he would tell them when. Then if an officer was killed, retired or got fired, he would strut into court to collect his dismissal. Delay benefits the defense. We simply have to monitor it and try to prevent it.
I believe prosecutors know that. I don't know how many other people realize it. Some things posted here are for the benefit of people who have never been prosecutors. There are way too many DUI crimes committed and prosecutors have the burden of trying to convict the guilty to protect the public. It is a hard job and we should always honor all who perform this mission on a daily basis.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Slowly the wheels of justice turn

On October 1, 2010 fifteen people were arrested in Nashville for DUI crimes. Since then, nine of the cases were finished in the Sessions Court. Six were found guilty. Three were dismissed with two of the three pleading to a reckless driving charge.
Meanwhile four cases were bound over and sent to the grand jury.
Two have been delayed more than 10 months and have court dates set later this year.

The wheels turn slowly. Delay is the defendant's best friend. We'll keep watching and see how the cases delayed by a year turn out. In the meantime I hope our prosecutors will try to eliminate unneccessary delay, so that the guilty are convicted and those not guilty are not.