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A Tennessee woman has been arrested after allegedly selling her car to a 13-year-old who then crashed into an elderly man’s vehicle, killing him.
Katrina Russell, 37, allegedly gave the 13-year-old boy the keys to her Dodge Dart for $80, according to a press release from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. The boy allegedly struck another vehicle with the Dart on the morning of Friday, March before speeding off, reaching speeds of 90 to 100 miles per hour while the driver of the car he'd struck tried to pursue, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by local newspaper the Tennessean.
The other car soon gave up chasing the boy, but the boy had already lost control of his vehicle. He allegedly hurtled through a red light, swerving around traffic, before smashing into a car about to exit the parking lot of an O’Reilly Auto Parts store, according to separate press release by Nashville police.
Officers witnessed the crash while investigating an unrelated murder across the street and called for help, according to the affidavit. Police found 71-year-old David Cheatham dead inside his wrecked vehicle.
The boy, who Oxygen.com isn't naming because of his age, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and was charged with vehicular homicide by recklessness, driving without a license and driving without proof of insurance, police said.
Police tracked down Russell last Wednesday after receiving reports of squatters living in a home that was under renovation. Officers found Russell inside the home and questioned her about the accident, according to the March 25 press release. She allegedly admitted to having sold the 13-year-old her car while aware of the boy’s age.
Russell was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide by recklessness and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to online inmate records.
While Russell and the 13-year-old await trial, Cheatham’s family has been left reeling.
“My whole life was turned upside down, my whole life, my whole world,” Cheatham’s wife, Jenice Cheatham, told WKRN-TV.
The couple was looking forward to their 50th wedding anniversary in June.
The boy is set to be tried in juvenile court, according to the Tennessean.
Russell is being held on $6,000 bond, according to online records. It’s not clear if she has an attorney who can comment on her behalf.
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