Monday, June 30, 2014

Former state legislator killed in Kingsport hit-and-run incident

The Kingsport Times News informs us that Michael K. Locke, 61, a former State Representative and Kingsport businessman has been killed by a hit and run driver, who faces vehicular homicide by intoxication charges.

The driver, James D Hamm was charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication, driving under the influence, leaving the scene of a fatality and failure to maintain control of a vehicle. He apparently bought alcohol at a liquor store and ran into the building as he left. He struck and killed Mr. Locke about a mile later.

Mr. Locke was a veteran and was active in his community supporting the Kingsport Life Saving Crew, Lynn View Community Center, the Parks and Recreation Board and Allandale. He was involved in the Republican party and was the past president of the Dobyns Bennett High School Quarterback Club.
He was serving as the chairman of a campaign for State Representative and was killed while putting up campaign signs.

Read the full story at:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Are you telling your story?

I just returned from a Train the Trainer course.
I had the privilege of focusing on the use of story in trial.
Developing a story that resonates is vital and most prosecutors are not very good at it.
We tend to show our list of proof and expect the jury to do the rest.
We list the elements of the crime, place a checkmark by each when it is proven and think we win.
Meanwhile the defense tells a story of ......Mistake, Regret, Impossibility or whatever.
They include an emotional connection in their story and we are surprised when our emotionless list is trounced by their emotional story
Put your story together.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Transdermal monitoring devices

A video explaining a new law, which goes into effect July 1, 2014, permitting the expanded use of transdermal monitoring has been posted on my you tube page at:

The law permits the use of devices that monitor sweat for alcohol content for probation, parole, pre trial and judicial diversion. They are already accepted for monitoring people on bond.

Recidivism Reduction Act of 2014 ...More Treatment options

A video explaining the Recidivism Reduction Act, which takes effect July 1, 2014, has been posted on my you tube account at:

Electronic search warrant law

A video explaining the new electronic search warrant law, which takes effect July 1, 2014, has been posted on my you tube page at:

Marijuana playing larger role in fatal crashes

As more states are poised to legalize medicinal marijuana, it's looking like dope is playing a larger role as a cause of fatal traffic accidents.
Columbia University researchers performing a toxicology examination of nearly 24,000 driving fatalities concluded that marijuana contributed to 12% of traffic deaths in 2010, tripled from a decade earlier.
NHTSA studies have found drugged driving to be particularly prevalent among younger motorists. One in eight high school seniors responding to a 2010 survey admitted to driving after smoking marijuana. Nearly a quarter of drivers killed in drug-related car crashes were younger than 25. Likewise, nearly half of fatally injured drivers who tested positive for marijuana were younger than 25.

Read the full article in the USA Today at:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Drugged Driving Fatalities 2014

In the first 5 months of the year, twenty two fatal crashes have occurred in which the driver had consumed drugs. Two of these resulted in Vehicular Homicide charges. In two others the drugged driver was not at fault for the crash. In 18 instances the drugged driver was killed. In two cases the drugged driver killed a pedestrian or two pedestrians and fled the scene! Three drivers were transporting children. The children were injured, but survived in two of the crashes.
There were 14 male and 8 female drugged drivers. Their average age was 37 years old.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DUI offender sentenced, victims family tries to change law

DUI offender sentenced, victims family tries to change law

This driver got a 20 year sentence for aggravated vehicular homicide. The article focuses on how incensed this family is that he will be parole eligible after serving 30%. There is nothing about the fact that 30% is much less, if he receives 2 for 1 good time credits.

The explanation of the law to victim families is always the hardest part of a prosecutors job. My first meeting with victims always included my plea that they call their legislators to change this law. It has not happened yet. We'll see.