James T. Meeks III to face charges of theft of a vehicle, burning personal property

James T. Meeks III to face charges of theft of a vehicle, burning personal property

June 9th, 2011 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

James T. Meeks III

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators have identified a Signal Mountain man as a suspect in this past weekend's deadly Marion County crash.

James T. Meeks III, 18, faces charges of theft of a motor vehicle and burning personal property, according to District Attorney Mike Taylor of the Twelfth Judicial District.

Investigators believe that a stolen vehicle, a Ford F-150 pickup truck, was involved in the Saturday incident that left three dead and one injured, Taylor said.

Taylor said investigators believe Meeks took the truck from Sequatchie County and then later burned the vehicle.

"Preliminary investigation indicates the vehicle Mr. Meeks is charged with the theft of in Sequatchie County was involved in the collision in Marion County that resulted in the three deaths," Taylor said.

Scott Clayton, 20, Emily Clayton, 21, and Annie Blevins, 24, were killed when they were thrown from a Jeep. The Jeep, driven by Eric Blevins, of Chattanooga, went off Big Fork Road in a curve about 4:20 a.m. Saturday. The Jeep rolled and the passengers were thrown out and trapped under the vehicle.

Investigators are basing the charges against Meeks on interviews with witnesses, including Eric Blevins.

Meeks is in Gordon County Jail being held on unrelated charges. When he is released from jail he will face the stolen vehicle charges, Taylor said.