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Judge cited for having open container, failing to use care after Oct. 20 crash

The THP said Dennis W. Humphrey was involved in the crash late Wednesday. The 17th Judicial District prosecutor has been assigned to handle the case.

ROANE COUNTY, Tenn. — UPDATE MONDAY: A Roane County General Sessions Court judge faces Tennessee Highway Patrol citations for failing to use due care and driving with an open container following a vehicle crash last week.

A trooper issued the citations following the incident the night of Oct. 20 on state Highway 58, records show.

Dennis W. Humphrey, 67, was driving a Chevrolet Corvette at the time, according to records.

He faces a Jan. 7 court date.

Roane County authorities have recused themselves.

The prosecutor for 17th Judicial District will handle the case.

PREVIOUS STORY: A Roane County General Sessions Court judge likely will be charged after he was in a vehicle crash late Wednesday in Roane County, authorities said.

Judge Dennis W. Humphrey was involved in the crash on state Highway 58, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

He was taken to an area hospital to be checked for injuries, according to 17th Judicial District Attorney General Robert Carter, who has been assigned to look into the case.

Humphrey is expected to be charged, Carter told WBIR on Thursday.

Credit: Robert Carter
17th Judicial District Attorney General Robert Carter

The Roane County General Sessions Court Clerk's Office said Thursday they had not yet received any charging documents.

The prosecutor said Thursday he could provide little information because his office had only just been assigned the case. Typically, when people who work in the judicial system face charges, everyone within that same system recuses themselves and an outside prosecution team takes over.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol was the lead investigating agency. It provided limited details about the crash Thursday, and a spokeswoman referred questions about the incident to Carter.

The Roane County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene but deferred to the THP.

Carter, who is attending a statewide judicial conference in Chattanooga, said he was alerted Wednesday night about the case. Many judges and prosecutors were attending the conference this week from across Tennessee.

The prosecutor said his office was in the "very preliminary" stages of addressing the case. He said it was so early that he hadn't yet received the investigative file from the THP.

WBIR reached out to Humphrey's judicial office but did not hear back. 10News also sought comment from the Administrative Office of the Courts in Nashville on what could happen to Humphrey but did not hear back.

The 17th Judicial District includes Lincoln and Bedford counties, south of Murfreesboro.