Michael Wayne Harvey appears with his attorney, Art Grisham, in front of Judge Gary Starnes
General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes on Thursday rejected a plea agreement that had been worked out in a road rage incident. Instead, he set a Jan. 19 court date to have a preliminary hearing on Michael Wayne Harvey.
The settlement had been agreed between Harvey’s attorney Art Grisham and Assistant District Attorney Allie Cropp.
Attorney Grisham said Harvey is a 43-year-old male who appears to be a strong, intelligent, able-bodied person but who daily suffers pain and has various physical and mental problems.
“He lives on Social Security disability and the enduring, unconditional love and support of his wife Amanda,” said the attorney.
He said the Social Security Administration found that there are not any jobs in the national economy that Harvey could perform. He further advised the court that he is currently in anger management as well as other treatments.
Attorney Grisham said that his client “deeply regrets his actions” that have been so highly publicized. “He is going to make restitution to (the victim) for the damages that he has done to her car.”
Attorney Grisham did ask the court to advise the victim "not to be trying her case in the court of public opinion." He said, “She is on social media making her case to everyone.”
Judge Starnes said, "It’s not within my purview to tell her not to stop making comments on social media.”
He also said, “I rarely disagree on a plea recommendation, but in this case I am.”
Attorney Grisham remarked that he did not think that Harvey had the capacity to understand what was going on at the time. “His car had a safety feature on it that caused it to pull over to the side of the road when (the victim) merged from the ramp into the fast lane without looking. There is a responsibility for everyone to drive safely on the roadways.”
Just because she pulled out in front of him, he ran her down Judge Starnes noted. He asked, "What would have happened if when he walked up to the car, she had a gun and would have shot him.” He asked why Harvey was driving if he had so many issues.
Harvey was accused of following the woman to a residence in Red Bank after he says she cut him off on Highway 27. At that point Harvey exited his vehicle and, according to video taken from the house he pulled into, he ripped off the mirror on her car.
After the hearing, Amanda Harvey said that she was just wanting to get this matter taken care of and over with.
She said, “It's been terrible. It’s gone to Atlanta and Texas. We have been harassed by people we don’t even know even to the extent of death threats. Our neighbors have had to install security cameras on their property because of the people coming around."
She said the victim "has posted our address and information to Facebook and Instagram. I’m ready for this to be over. Why is she being so combative? If she was so terrified, why was her child walking around the car. Its not fair to me or my family.”
Mrs. Harvey said that it is also affecting her job as well.
She said, “There was another incident of road rage where a man shot a gun. Did you see that on the news? There were 12 murders the same week that this happened. Did you see that on the news?”