|Corey Black Sentencing|
A Cocke County man charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication, vehicular assault and simple possession of marijuana, Monday pleaded guilty to the offenses in Cocke County Criminal Court. Corey Black, 22, Mulberry Avenue, Newport, in January, 2014 was operating a vehicle which left Black Mountain Road in the Grassy Fork community traveled down the mountainside for 250 to 300 feet, stopping only when it crashed into a tree. Initially investigators were told that Black wasn't driving the auto at the time of the crash. But in court, Asst D.A. Tonya Thornton told Judge Ben Hooper that Black was intoxicated while operating the vehicle, and blood found in the driver's seat matched that of the defendant. Passenger Chelsey Williamson, 24, Armory Road, Newport, died as a result of her injuries, and another passenger Cortney Shultz, 23, Rankin Hill Road, Newport, was seriously injured. The court heard comments from Amy Grooms, Williamson's aunt as well as the victim's older sister, Angelica Boivin, both of whom were emotional as they spoke. Grooms asked the defendant to provide answers to her lingering questions about the crash. "What we need the most, is to know the truth about what happened that night. That would be closure for our family. It's not about blame, it's about knowing the truth. We know this was a tragic accident, nobody set out to hurt anybody that night.....Please if you can find it in your heart to give us the truth, it would be healing for you, and for us. It's not right that we lost her, and now we have no answers." In response, Black said, "I'm sorry." The court sentenced Black to an eight-year term, but released him on the time he has served. Prosecutor Thornton said the defendant had been in jail for more than a year. The balance of the sentence will be on supervised probation. Black was ordered also to pay restitution of more than $35,000, a $600 fine, and lose his license for three years.