Overton County jury convicts in vehicular homicide case

Posted By | November 21, 2019 7:53 am

According to District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway, a two-day jury trial concluded Nov. 20, 2019, at the Overton County Justice Center. Shannon C. Harvill was tried for the following criminal offenses which had previously been indicted by the Overton County Grand Jury:

  1. Vehicular Homicide of Shannon Cook by Intoxication;
  2. Vehicular Homicide of Shannon Cook by Recklessness;
  3. Vehicular Assault of Joy Pugh;
  4. Vehicular Assault of Thomas Cook.

At the conclusion of the trial, the jury rendered a verdict finding Shannon C. Harville guilty on all counts. Judge Gary McKenzie ordered Harvill’s bond revoked and had the Overton County sheriff take Harvill into custody after the verdict. A sentencing hearing is scheduled Jan. 21, 2020.

The proof that the State presented at trial showed, in part, that on Jan. 27, 2017, Harvill was driving his Nissan Sentra automobile on Hwy 164 (Hanging Limb Highway), in Overton County. Witnesses testified that Harvill’s vehicle passed them in no passing zones traveling at a high rate of speed.

As Harvill attempted to negotiate a curve near the Lovejoy Market at a high rate of speed, his car began to leave the roadway. Harvill’s car then came back across the roadway and into the oncoming lane of travel where his car crashed head on into a Nissan Maxima driven by Shannon Cook, 27. Other occupants in Shannon Cook’s vehicle were Joy Pugh and Thomas Cook. The violent impact of the collision killed Shannon Cook instantly; Joy Pugh and Thomas Cook suffered serious injuries.

Law enforcement officers obtained a blood sample from Shannon C. Harvill, which was tested at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab. The results of that testing showed that Shannon C. Harvill’s blood contained a high level of methamphetamine. Also present in his blood were oxycodone, diazepam, and nordiazepam.

The victim’s (Shannon Cook) body was taken from the crash scene to the medical examiner’s office where an autopsy was performed. The medical examiner determined that she died from violent blunt force trauma; blood testing of Shannon Cook revealed no drugs to be present.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated the crash assisted by the Overton County Sheriff Department. Dunaway issued a special thanks to Overton County EMS for their prompt response to the crash scene and prompt treatment of the occupants of the vehicles involved.

The case was prosecuted at trial by District Attorney General Bryant C. Dunaway and Assistant District Attorney Jackson Carter. The Defendant was represented at trial by Cookeville attorneys Bill Cameron and Lindsey Cameron Gross.

“Impaired and reckless driving is a serious problem which is prosecuted diligently by the District Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement agencies,” said Dunaway. “I am proud of the team work in this case in holding Shannon C. Harvill accountable for his violent act that took the life of Shannon Cook, seriously injured Thomas Cook and Joy Pugh and forever affected the lives of the victims and their families.”

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