Cofrancesco Loses Appeal Ordering Him To Begin Serving 9-Year Sentence For Wreck In Which Motorcyclist Was Killed

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Henry Cofrancesco III
Henry Cofrancesco III

A man police said struck and killed a motorcyclist was booked Monday at the County Jail on a custody order after the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled against his appeal of his sentence. He was later released, but has a certain amount of days before starting to serve the term.

The Appeals Court upheld a nine-year sentence handed down by Criminal Court Judge Don Poole against Henry Cofrancesco III.

He had pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular homicide (by Impairment) and one count of (DUI per se) (enhanced) in a case involving the traffic death of 60-year-old Robert Benedict on May 21, 2016.

Cofrancesco, who was 34 at the time, was initially charged with possession of cocaine, failure to yield right of way, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to render aid and DUI.

The victim was struck and killed on Lee Highway when a vehicle pulled onto the highway from the Images nightclub.

At 8:10 p.m., officers from the Chattanooga Police Department's Traffic Division responded to the fatal crash at 5950 Lee Highway involving a 2015 BMW convertible and a 2006 American Ironhorse motorcycle. 

Police said Cofrancesco was driving the 2015 BMW. He was pulling out of the parking lot at 5950 Lee Highway.

When his vehicle pulled out into the road he struck the motorcycle rider. The impact caused substantial damage to both vehicles.

Mr. Benedict was pronounced dead at the scene.

A blood search warrant was obtained and executed. Police said at the time that the results of the chemical test would determine if any charges would be filed related to intoxication. 

A witness said Cofrancesco drove over a curb onto Lee Highway directly in front of the motorcycle.

The witness said the driver got out of his car, looked around, then went back into the bar. 

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