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.