Massey Must Serve 8-Year Sentence For Traffic Death Of Tracy O'Neal

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
John Westin Massey
John Westin Massey

A man whose car crossed the centerline on Middle Valley Road and killed the driver of another vehicle in August 2012 was led away Monday night to begin serving an eight-year prison sentence.

John Westin Massey, 30, earlier pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and DUI in the death of 46-year-old Tracy O'Neal. It was agreed at the time that the sentence would be eight years.

During a four and a half-hour hearing, Massey's attorney argued that he should serve 11 months and 29 days, then be on probation for the rest of the term.

DUI Prosecutor Kate Lavery urged that he serve the full sentence in the state prison.

Massey was taken into custody after Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman decided that he should serve the full sentence.

There were a number of witnesses on both sides.

Prosecutor Lavery said, "Tracy O'Neal was a very beloved family man. I can't tell you the number of people who contacted me and said what a positive impression he made on them."

She added, "He left a wife and two young children."

She said the victim was a talented pool player and that night was coming back from a practice session. She said he was the team captain of Pocket Change out of Doublehill Billiards in Hixson and was scheduled to be in a competition in Las Vegas the next week.

Ms. Lavery said Massey registered a .12 blood alcohol content at 1 a.m. after the 11:30 p.m. crash. She said he also had a high level of Ambien, which makes a person sleepy.

She said he was talking on his cell phone with a friend on the curvy Middle Valley Road as his vehicle approached the O'Neal 2008 Ford Focus. Massey's 1998 Ford F250 veered across the centerline and struck the Focus.

Ms. Lavery said the friend said during the phone conversation that Massey appeared more and more incoherent and the friend asked, "Have you been drinking?" Then there was the sound of a crash.

Massey said he had consumed 32 ounces of wine and taken two Ambiens that night.

He made a statement at the hearing, telling the O'Neal family that he is very remorseful.

Ms. Lavery said, "My fondest wish is that we would never have to go through one of these hearings again. A DUI death is so devastating to both sides."  


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLEN, GYLES J     8160 PINECREST DR CHATTANOOGA, 37421     42     Tenn Highway Patrol          DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE     IMPLIED CONSENT LAW - DRIVERS BAGGETT, JUSTIN     412 GLENN ROAD LAFAYETTE, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Seek 2 Theft And Fraud Suspects

The Chattanooga Police Department is asking for assistance in identifying two theft/fraud suspects who were captured on camera walking into businesses in the downtown area, stealing purses and other personal items.  The suspects then used the cash and credit cards they stole to purchase over $10,000 in Walmart gift cards. Investigators with the Fraud Unit need assistance ... (click for more)

Chuck Is Doing His Job - And Response (6)

Four years ago we conservatives sent Chuck Fleischmann to Washington to basically say no to Obama and every program he tried to sneak through.  He did such a good job at this we sent him back two years ago. Now this young whippersnapper comes along and wants to go to Washington under the Republican title to cross the isles and negotiate with Obama and the Democrats. Is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Wrongs Not Right

Scottie Mayfield is a delightful friend of mine but he’s the last guy in the world who should be aiming at anybody’s character. He’s always had class but today Scottie is the “star” of a shameful political commercial in which he assails challenger Weston Wamp on behalf of a panicked Chuck Fleischmann. Mayfield, you’ll remember, ran against the two in the last race for the District ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Hosts Sacramento Gold Saturday At 7:30

The Chattanooga Football Club will host yet another playoff soccer game on Saturday as Sacramento Gold comes to town in the National NPSL final four semifinal game.  The NPSL National semifinals are powered by Mitre.  Midwest region champions Lansing United will play Northeast region champions Red Buls U23s in New York on Sunday in the other semifinal match.  The ... (click for more)

Lookouts Get 8-7 Walkoff Win Over Biscuits,

Chris O’Brien’s only hit of the game was the one that mattered the most, giving the Chattanooga Lookouts (12-21)  the  walk-off win on his RBI single against the Montgomery Biscuits (19-16) before a raucous sell-out crowd of 6,378. The first inning came and went innocuously, but the second showed the first offensive outburst of the night as the Biscuits staked themselves ... (click for more)