Friday, 07 April 2017 16:12

Drunk Driver Pleads Guilty to Vehicular Homicide

April 7, 2017 – A 63-year-old North Memphis man was sentenced to nine years in prison for an alcohol-related crash that involved several vehicles and killed a longtime community leader and advocate for the homeless, Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich said Friday.
Defendant Vinson Walls was drunk when he caused two separate car crashes the morning of Oct. 4, 2014, in the 1000 block of Firestone near Breedlove and critically injured pedestrian Cascel Jones, 78, who died from his injuries four months later.
Jones was struck on the property of an outreach community center for the homeless, a center he his wife, Antoinette, had helped start.
Walls, who was driving on a revoked license from a previous DUI, was denied probation by Criminal Court Judge James Beasley Jr. The defendant’s blood-alcohol reading was .102. An open 40-oz. bottle of Colt 45 Malt Liquor was found on the floorboard of his car after the crash.
An investigation showed that Walls was involved in two separate crashes that morning, starting with a two-vehicle crash at Thomas Street and Chelsea Avenue where he had disregarded a red light.
He left the scene and headed eastbound on Firestone, crossed over the center line and struck another vehicle, causing it to spin 180 degrees. Walls, who was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Prizm, then crashed through a chain-link fence and hit a steel Dumpster, causing it to strike another vehicle as well as pedestrian victim Cascel Jones.
The case was handled by Asst. Dist. Atty. Stephanie Johnson of the DA’s DUI Prosecution Task Force whose members work with local law enforcement seeking to reduce the number of DUI-related fatalities and injuries. Task force prosecutors also conduct training sessions to update law enforcement officers on changes in traffic and DUI laws.