published Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Former police officer charged with vehicular homicide

A former police officer who was involved in a high-speed crash that killed a 70-year-old newspaper carrier was indicted today on a charge of homicide by vehicle in the first degree.

Former officer James Smith also was charged with reckless driving, Conasauga Circuit District Attorney Bert Poston said.

According to Smith’s attorney, Smith will turn himself into the jail Friday. Smith has agreed to a $5,000 bond, Poston said in an email.

Smith was driving at high speed when he and Dalton Daily Citizen newspaper carrier Leon Thurman crashed on March 5. Thurman was ejected from his car as it burst into flames. He died at the scene.

See tomorrow’s Times Free Press for complete details.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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