Attorney David Clarke appeared in court this week to represent his client, Gareion Simmons in a probable cause hearing. Simmons is accused of a number of serious charges, including four counts of aggravated assault, criminal impersonation, and vehicular manslaughter.
Coffee County authorities allege that Simmons stole a black Escalade and led the sheriff's department on a high-speed chase up I-24. Rutherford County Sheriff's officers attempted to deploy spike strips on I-24 to stop the defendant's vehicle. The vehicle exited I-24 to Church Street, where Simmons ultimately crashed. The wreck resulted in the death of 28-year-old Jessica Campos.
The Use Of Spike Strips
During this week's hearing, Attorney Clarke was sure to make police procedure a focus of the deliberations—specifically why the sheriff's department chose to continue to pursue Simmons on a crowded highway and whether or not the deployment of spike strips was appropriate. As The Murfreesboro Post reports, Deputy Trey Nunley told the court that officers continued to chase Simmons because he appeared to be a threat against officers and citizens and that halting the chase "did not seem to be a reasonable decision."
Similarly, officers defended their use of the spike strip. As WSMV reports, Deputy Jason Leathers testified "I had spike strips in my hand. The vehicle was coming at me at a high rate of speed. The rear end was going from side to side. I got out of the way just in time." Attorney Clarke asked who had authorized the use of spike strips in the chase—as their deployment often requires permission from supervising officers. The sheriff's officers claimed that permission is not needed in their department.
Simmons case is now being reviewed by a grand jury. The family of Jessica Campos has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Coffee County Sheriff's Department, Rutherford County Sheriff's Department and others for contributing to her death.
Have you been charged with a serious crime? If so, we invite you to contact our dedicated and award-winning Murfreesboro criminal defense lawyer at The Clarke Law Firm. Attorney Clarke brings nearly a decade of legal experience to our clients' cases and does not back away from the opportunity to litigate on behalf of the accused. He is ready to hear your story and start assessing actionable legal options that make your rights and interests a priority.
Don't wait to start building an effective defense. Call us at (615) 796-6299 today. Se habla español.