BY KEN LITTLE
Marcus W. Strong, who is charged in connection with an accident July 19 that killed the passenger in a car he was driving, waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday in Greene County General Sessions Court.
Strong, 33, is charged with driving under the influence-seventh offense and violation of the Habitual Motor Vehicle Offender Act. He will make a first appearance Nov. 30 in Greene County Criminal Court.
Strong, of 2960 Chuckey Pike, was driving a car July 19 that crashed into a utility pole on Chuckey Pike, killing 33-year-old passenger Kiley Ricker Shelton.
He waived his preliminary hearing after conferring with defense lawyer William H. Bell. The hearing would have been continued anyway.
Assistant District Attorney General Ritchie Collins asked Judge Kenneth Bailey Jr. to continue the case because toxicology test results on Strong were not yet available, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper who conducted the investigation was on sick leave.
Wilma Strong, 61, Marcus Strong's mother, also appeared Wednesday in General Sessions Court and waived her preliminary hearing. She also has a Nov. 30 Criminal Court date.
Wilma Strong was charged after the crash with being an accessory after the fact for allegedly hindering authorities attempting to take her son into custody.
She entered a not guilty plea to the charge at her July arraignment. She is free on $10,000 bond.
Prosecutors have said that additional charges may be filed against Marcus Strong, who entered a not guilty plea at arraignment after his arrest following the crash.
Bailey continued Strong's $70,000 bond on the DUI and habitual offender charges. He is currently serving two other jail sentences.
Bailey sentenced Strong on July 27 to two consecutive jail terms of 11 months, 29 days, at 75 percent service on each, for violation of probation.
Strong's driving record includes two DUI convictions in Greene County in 2005, two DUI convictions in Washington County in 2003, and two DUI convictions in 2000 in Sevier County, according to a THP report.
In January 2006, Strong was designated as a Habitual Motor Vehicle Offender in Greene County Criminal Court. His driver's license was revoked at the time of the July 19 crash.
'HIGH RATE OF SPEED'
The affidavits of complaint for Strong filed by Trooper Timothy Barnett after the July 19 wreck said Strong "was traveling at a high rate of speed" in a 1989 Ford Mustang "and lost control and hit a utility pole."
Strong did not suffer serious injuries.
While being taken to Johnson City Medical Center, he "had a strong odor of alcohol, and his eyes were bloodshot and he had slurred speech," the reports said.
A vehicular homicide charge could be filed against Strong, prosecutors recently said.