Former County EMT Charged With Vehicular Homicide Is Back Out Of Jail After Pretrial Services "Error"

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A former county EMT accused of vehicular homicide was taken into custody in court on Monday based on five alleged violations of his pretrial release. But Justin Whaley was back out of jail on Wednesday after it was agreed that the report of the violations was unfounded.

 

His attorney, Lee Davis, said, "The report filed by Pretrial Services was in error.

There was no alcohol violation." 

 

Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman on Monday set a $700,000 bond for the 39-year-old Whaley, of Soddy Daisy. That came after the Hamilton County Pretrial Services program cited the alleged violations between Aug. 16 and Sept. 4. They include five alleged incidents of tampering with an alcohol detection device and two alleged incidents of alcohol use.

 

However, an order signed by Judge Steelman on Wednesday said:

 

"1. No alcohol violation occurred on September 1, 2020, this has been confirmed by the district attorney with a phone call to Scram, Shaun Stewart.

 

"2. That an alcohol violation did not occur is also corroborated by the Scram report attached hereto. Pretrial services failed to attach this report to the initial violation to the court.

 

"3. By agreement of the parties, there has been no tampering with the device. The district attorney was told by Scram today that reports of tampering could have been caused by something as innocent as a sock. On August 31, 2020, counsel for Mr. Whaley was told the same thing by pretrial services.

 

"Wherefore premises considered, being that it is the agreement of the state and defendant that no violation has occurred, the Court is dismissing the violation and ordering the defendant's release from custody. The defendant shall report to pretrial services to resume alcohol monitoring."

 

Authorities say early on the morning of July 3, 2018, Whaley drove the wrong way on Highway 111. His car crashed head-first into James Brumlow’s vehicle, killing Mr. Brumlow.

 

There was a four-hour delay in taking a blood-alcohol sample from Whaley, according to his attorney, Lee Davis.

 


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