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Local man pleads guilty to vehicular homicide charge

Posted on Monday, February 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm

A Fayetteville man pled guilty Wednesday to vehicular homicide as well as other charges stemming from a fatal accident that occurred on the Ardmore Highway in August of 2011.

William Avery Crisp, 31, of 219 Old Camargo Road, entered an open plea of guilty to all counts before Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler during proceedings Wednesday. In addition to vehicular homicide, the counts included driving under the influence, first offense, vehicular assault, and violation of the open container law. A sentencing hearing has been set for April 16.

Killed as a result of injuries sustained in the Aug. 20, 2011 head-on collision was Tommie Mitchell, age 88, of Taft. Mrs. Mitchell died in Huntsville Hospital eight days after the crash.

“I am certainly pleased with the outcome of the case,” said District Attorney General Robert Carter, who prosecuted Crisp. “I’m most pleased with the work performed by law enforcement officers in this case, especially Trooper Ryan Dalton, as well as others who assisted.

“I’m very grateful and thankful, too, for the patience and assistance of Wanda Flynn, her family, and the family of Mrs. Tommie Mitchell,” he said.

Mrs. Flynn, also of Taft, and Mrs. Mitchell were traveling north on the Ardmore Highway when the accident occurred. Crisp was southbound in a 1993 Ford Ranger pickup, and as he approached the automobile, driven by Mrs. Flynn, he failed to maintain his lane of travel, crossing over the centerline into the path of the oncoming car, stated the report filed by the Tennessee Highway Patrol at the time. The report added that Mrs. Flynn attempted to swerve out of Crisp’s way but was unable to do so.

Crisp avoided a trial, which was set to begin last week, by entering the guilty pleas. Carter said that even though a sentencing hearing is set for April, it may be some time before the case is completely resolved since appeals would likely be filed in a case of this nature.