Cocke Co. official reports to jail after killing woman with truck

10:26 PM, May 13, 2013   |    comments
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A man who has served as Cocke County election commissioner will only spend 48 hours in jail after he struck and killed a woman riding a bicycle with his truck in the summer of 2011.

Special Prosecutor Al Schmutzer told 10News Dan Ford pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide by reason of recklessness. He also pleaded guilty to DUI first offense.

Ford will not serve any prison time, but will serve the two days in jail for DUI. He also received five years of supervised probation, 800 hours of community service, and his license is suspended for three years.

Richardson's friend, Jim Clark, worked for Smoky Mountain Outdoors White Water Rafting Company.

He said he was in disappointed by the plea deal.

"I don't like the fact that somebody can actually murder somebody, go to jail for 48 hours and pay a bunch of money and then, you know, be absolved," he said. 

Another one of Richardson's friends, Daniel Jennette, said he felt Ford got special treatment.

"I just find it ironic how the law applies to some people and not others," he said.

Ford hit Katelin Richardson, 21, and another woman on Hwy. 73 near Newport in July 2011. Authorities originally charged Ford with vehicular homicide by intoxication, vehicular homicide by recklessness and DUI.

Schmutzer said Ford was able to plea to a lesser charge because the victim was riding her bike at night without the proper lights required. She was also riding in the middle of the road instead of the side of the road.

Ford report to the Cocke County Jail Monday at 6 p.m.

Richardson's family denied comment on the plea deal when contacted by 10News.

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