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Ford Pleads Guilty: Former election commissioner gets judicial deferral on vehicular homicide, two days in jail for DUI

Published: 9:04 AM, 05/14/2013

Author: Nelson Morais
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

NEWPORT-Dan Ford, a prominent businessman, former chair of the Cocke County Republican Party, and a candidate for representative in Nashville, pled guilty in Cocke County Circuit Court on Monday, May 13, to charges of DUI and vehicular homicide by recklessness.

Ford stated earlier he had three alcoholic drinks before heading north on Wilton Springs Road, where his pickup truck hit and killed Katelin Richardson, 21, of Jeffersonville, Vt., also headed north in a traffic lane, on July 12, 2011, at about 9 p.m.

Although Ford on Monday was sentenced to five years to the charge of vehicular homicide by recklessness, he will only have to serve 48 hours in jail, which is the sentence for the DUI conviction. On the night of his arrest, Ford spent 12 hours in jail before bonding out, prosecuting District Attorney General Al Schmutzer told the Newport Plain Talk.

Ford will also have to serve 800 hours of community service; will lose driving privileges for three years; and will attend a DUI school, according to Schmutzer. Ford's guilty plea to the two charges provided for the dismissal of a third charge by the state, for vehicular homicide by intoxication.

Ford will also be on supervised probation for at least two years due to his guilty plea to committing vehicular homicide by recklessness, according to Schmutzer, a retired district attorney general. Schmutzer said Ford got a five-year sentence that could have fallen in a range of from anywhere from three to six years.

The sentence includes judicial deferral, which means that at the end of five years, if Ford completes all requirements, he can have the vehicular homicide by intoxication charge dismissed.

For more details, please see the Tuesday edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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