Advertisement

Former Knoxville man pleads, is sentenced for driving impaired

Former wife refused to come from Tennessee to testify in attempted-murder case

Former wife refused to come from Tennessee to testify in attempted-murder case

December 28, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - A man who was involved in a hit-and-run accident in April in a vehicle traced to his Knoxville home, where his wife was found bleeding from serious upper-body stab wounds, pleaded guilty Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court to driving while impaired by drugs and two other counts.

Richard Barry Cannon, 35, formerly of Hoffmaster Road in Knoxville, had been charged with attempted second-degree murder and other counts in connection with the injuries to Mendin Merritt Cannon, who refused to come from Tennessee to testify against her husband, a prosecutor said Thursday morning.

Cannon pleaded guilty Thursday to driving while impaired by drugs, driving on a revoked license and leaving the scene of an accident.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III sentenced Cannon to one year in jail for the driving while revoked conviction, plus 60 days for driving while impaired and 60 days for leaving the scene. The 60-day sentences are to run concurrently to the one-year sentence, Wright ordered. Cannon also got credit for time served.

Advertisement

Someone reported seeing a collision between two vehicles on April 4 shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Sandy Hook Road.

Police who pulled over Cannon's vehicle saw blood on his clothing that seemed inconsistent with the damage to the vehicle, and they traced the vehicle to his estranged wife, police have said.

The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash later identified Cannon as the driver who left the scene, Assistant State's Attorney John Dunlap said Thursday in court.

Investigators and representatives of the state's attorney's office spoke with Mendin Merritt Cannon several times, and she told them she would not testify, Dunlap said.

Without her testimony against her husband, the state could not prove its case on the charges of attempted second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, Dunlap said.

Based on a record that included a previous reckless endangerment conviction, the state considered Cannon a danger and recommended that he be sentenced to the maximum penalty of 16 months for the three driving offenses, Dunlap said.

Cannon, who has been held at the Washington County Detention Center since April 4, told Wright that he previously had sought mental health treatment for bipolar disorder and depression.

Cannon has a history of binge drinking and self-medicating, Assistant Public Defender Carl Creeden told the judge. While in jail, Cannon has completed a substance abuse program.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|