JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee driver charged in the deaths of a pregnant woman and her toddler has been convicted of reckless homicide and reckless endangerment.
A jury in Jefferson City reached the verdict Saturday against William David Phillips, who was charged in the 2019 deaths of Sierra Cahoon and Nolan Cahoon, news outlets reported.
Investigators said Phillips was driving west on East Main Street in Jefferson City when he swerved and intentionally hit and injured a man and then continued driving before hitting and killing the mother and her 2-year-old son.
During closing arguments in the trial, lawyers argued over Phillips’ mental illness.
“Driving down 80 miles an hour down this tiny little downtown road, jerking the wheel, hitting these people, going through the wall at 89 miles an hour speaks for itself,” the defense lawyer said. “It’s insanity.”
Prosecutors argued he knew exactly what he was doing.
“He hit the brakes when he was slowing down for the stop sign,” the prosecutor said. “He chose not to hit the brakes when he slammed into Sierra and Nolan.”
Prosecutors said Phillips gave several reasons for the crash including a voice in his head and thought there was meth in the stroller that needed to be destroyed.
Sentencing was set for Sept. 19.
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