Crossville fugitive nabbed in Reno

Crossville fugitive nabbed in Reno

June 1st, 2014 by Ben Benton in Local Regional News

Crossville, Tenn., resident William Douglas Wynn, 72. Wynn is charged with vehicular homicide from a 2010 crash and with felony failure to appear in court for fleeing trial in 2012. He was arrested after a standoff with police in Ren, Nev.

Illustration by Laura McNutt/Times Free Press.

A 72-year-old Crossville, Tenn., man who in 2012 skipped out on a vehicular homicide trial in Cumberland County was taken into custody Wednesday after a five-hour standoff with police in Reno, Nev.

William Douglas Wynn, charged in 2010 with vehicular homicide by intoxication in a fatal crash near the VFW on U.S. Highway 127 south of Crossville, was taken into custody by Reno Police Department SWAT officers after a standoff at the Riverboat Hotel in the downtown area, according to Associated Press reports.

Wynn is charged in Cumberland County in a Dec. 21, 2010, DUI crash that claimed the life of Paul Jensen, 78, and severely injured Jensen's wife, Shirley, then 72, and the driver of a third car, Rebecca Day, according to authorities. Wynn also was injured.

Reno officers were trying to serve a fugitive-from-justice warrant stemming from Wynn's flight from trial when Wynn barricaded himself in a room at the hotel and made threats indicating he was armed, AP reports state. The standoff forced police to close off a block around the hotel in the main casino district while SWAT officers negotiated with Wynn.

Sam Boevers, with the 13th Judicial District Attorney's Office in Crossville, said Wynn now will face a felony failure-to-appear charge as well as the pending vehicular homicide charge he fled.

Wynn's trial was delayed at least a couple of times in 2011 and 2012 as his case wound toward a trial set for Nov. 9, 2012, according to 2011 and 2012 reports in the Crossville Chronicle newspaper.

The day of the trial, Wynn's attorney and prosecutors had worked out a plea agreement for an eight-year prison sentence, but Wynn had vanished, reports state. A bail bondsman and deputies went to Wynn's home, but he was nowhere to be found.

In the 2010 fatal crash, Wynn was driving a 2006 Ford Expedition and had exited the VFW Club parking lot on Highway 127 heading south, the Chronicle reported. Wynn's Ford crossed the center line and hit the Jensens' 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis in the driver's side, and Day's 1997 Chrysler Town and Country van.

On Friday, Boevers said there was no word yet on whether Wynn plans to waive extradition to Tennessee to face charges.

"He is going to have to waive extradition or we'll have to start proceedings against him right away," Boevers said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.