A trial date has been set for the man accused of first-degree murder in the 2016 hit-and-run incident that killed a well-known thrift store employee in Dayton, Tenn.
Douglas Edward Alvey, 53, was originally charged with criminal homicide in the Sept. 6, 2016, hit-and-run at Dayton's We Care Thrift Store where victim Walter Hale worked. In December 2016, the charges against Alvey were upgraded to first-degree murder.
Alvey will face a jury trial in Hale's death on April 17 in Rhea County Criminal Court, 12th Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor said last week.
Criminal Court officials said Monday that most of the week, April 17-20, has been blocked out for the trial.
Alvey remains behind bars on a $400,000 bond, officials said.
During the initial investigation, Dayton Police Department Chief Chris Sneed said surveillance video from minutes before the incident showed a man, since identified as Alvey, walking around inside the We Care store, shopping, measuring furniture and talking with store employees. Hale, who had worked at the store for six years, was behind the facility when a pickup truck driven by Alvey pulled up to the loading dock area, Sneed said.
"The truck drives out, and it appears the truck accelerated, hit [Hale], and drove out on Iowa Avenue and turned left as if going toward Market Street," Sneed said in 2016.
As the truck sped away, Sneed said, Hale fell off the hood and was run over and left lying near the Krystal restaurant across the street from the store.
Hale was hospitalized but died from his injuries on Sept. 10, 2016.
He started working at the thrift store in Dayton after the business he worked at on Rossville Boulevard in Chattanooga closed, We Care manager Ina Carol Ring said in the days after the man's death. Ring said other Hale family members have worked at the store, too.
"Everybody here loved him," Ring said.
Contact staff writer Ben Benton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.