Grand jury to hear hit-and-run case
Posted: Friday, December 17, 2010 9:20 pm
By CHRIS MENEES
A South Fulton man charged in a May 2009 fatal hit-and-run accident has waived his case to the grand jury.
Dennis L. Hutchins, 50, appeared in Obion County General Sessions Court about noon Thursday for a preliminary hearing on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death — a Class E felony.
The charge stems from a May 16, 2009, hit-and-run accident that claimed the life of George Thomas Dysart, 50, of Fulton.
Dysart died following an accident that occurred between 9:30 and 10 p.m. on Harris Road in South Fulton. Police reported Dysart was riding a bicycle in the area of Harris Road beside the football field at the old school when he was struck by a vehicle that fled the scene.
Hutchins was arrested Nov. 2 following a joint investigation by the South Fulton Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. South Fulton Police Chief Andy Crocker told The Messenger the case was “a cold case” for nearly 18 months when the victim’s family received a tip that ultimately resulted in the arrest.
Hutchins was represented in court Thursday by attorney David Hamblen of Union City, while the prosecution was represented by Assistant District Attorney Heard Critchlow. The two attorneys conferred for several minutes before Hamblen indicated to General Sessions Judge Jimmy Smith that Hutchins instead wished to waive the case to the grand jury.
The next session of the grand jury is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2011.
About a dozen members of Dysart’s family were in court Thursday to hear the proceedings. Court began at 10 a.m. and they waited for two hours as several other cases were heard. Hamblen was also in Chancery Court for a different case Thursday morning and there was a delay with his being available in General Sessions.
After court, several of Dysart’s family members — including his four sisters — lingered outside the courtroom. They had many questions about the proceedings and what will happen next as they talked with the investigating TBI agent and the victim/witness coordinator from the DA’s office.
Dysart’s niece, Veronica Williams of Paducah, Ky., told The Messenger the family is glad to see the case brought forth and they hope to learn the facts of the case as they seek justice in Dysart’s death.
“We love him. We miss him,” she said.
Another niece, Renae Hickman of Martin, described Dysart as “a loving person” who never harmed anyone.
“It’s a great big loss,” she said. “He’ll be missed.”
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 12.17.10
hit-and-run, Obion County