Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
April 28, 2015 Session
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Claiborne County No. 2012-CR-1216 E. Shayne Sexton, Judge
Michael G. Hatmaker, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Hugh Crumley.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ahmed A. Safeeullah, Assistant Attorney General; Lori Phillips-Jones, District Attorney General; and Jared R. Effler, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
D. KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE
Following a November 5, 2011 automobile wreck, the Defendant was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide as the proximate result of his intoxication, a Class B felony, and one count of driving under the influence ("DUI"), a Class A misdemeanor. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-213, 55-10-401. He entered a nolo contendere plea of guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide on June 17, 2013, and the DUI charge was dismissed. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, he received concurrent terms of eight years as a Range I, standard offender for both counts of vehicular homicide. Only the manner of service was left for the trial court's determination.
A sentencing hearing was held on September 23, 2013. The presentence report was entered as an exhibit and provided details surrounding the events. The information in the report about the crash was taken verbatim from a Tennessee Highway Patrol Critical Incident Response Team Reconstructionist's Report completed by Trooper James Fillers. After Trooper Fillers examined "all known physical evidence" and reviewed the witnesses' accounts of the automobile collision, he made the following conclusions.
On Saturday, November 5, 2011, at approximately 7:39 p.m., the Defendant was operating a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu heading south on State Route 63 in Claiborne County at a rate of sixty-eight miles per hour. The posted speed limit was fifty-five miles per hour. Ronald P. McNew was traveling in the opposite direction, north of State Route 63, in his 2011 Toyota Highlander, at a rate of 49 miles per hour, and was accompanied by his wife Wilma McNew, who was in the passenger seat. Ashley N. Fultz was driving behind the McNews in her 2008 Ford Escape. All individuals were wearing their seatbelts according to Trooper Fillers's report.
The report further stated,
The Chevrolet crossed the center line and collided with the Toyota head-on in the northbound lane. The Chevrolet and Toyota entered a clockwise rotation. The Ford collided with the right rear of the Toyota and then collided with the left rear of the Chevrolet. The Chevrolet entered a counter clockwise rotation and came to an uncontrolled final rest in the center of the roadway facing north. The Toyota came to an uncontrolled final rest in the center of the roadway facing north. The Ford came to a controlled final rest on the shoulder of the northbound lane.
Mr. McNew died on the scene, and Mrs. McNew was transferred to Claiborne County Hospital, where she died from her injuries sustained in the crash. The Defendant was transported to University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he received treatment.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation conducted blood alcohol tests and drug screens on the Defendant and the other two drivers. No alcohol was detected in the Defendant's blood, but the "toxicology results were positive for Etomidate, Doxylamine less than .05 ug/ml, Oxycodone .14 ug/ml, Midazolam 39.2 mg/ml, and Alprazolam 77.8 ng/ml." All results were negative for both Mr. McNew and Ms. Fultz. Based on this information, Trooper Fillers determined, "It is my opinion that failure to keep in the proper lane of travel, speeding and impaired driving, on behalf of [the Defendant], are the primary contributing factor[s] to the cause of this crash."
Angela Brooks and Karen Bullins both testified about the impact of the loss of their mother and father on themselves and their entire family. They described their parents as loving, faithful, loyal, hard-working, wonderful, generous, and dedicated to their family. Their mother was a breast cancer survivor, and their father was a Vietnam combat veteran, who had received a purple heart. Over 1, 500 people attended their parents' ...