Tennessee man acquitted of murder in fatal 2016 wreck

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man has been acquitted of second-degree murder in a fatal 2016 wreck.

The Associate Press reports a Knox County jury on Wednesday instead convicted 27-year-old Ralpheal Cameron Coffey of vehicular homicide.

Authorities and prosecutors have said Coffey was carrying drugs and fleeing law enforcement when he fatally crashed into 27-year-old Kevin Bradley in March 2016. Coffey’s passenger and cousin, 44-year-old Tommie Troupe, later died from injuries sustained in the wreck.

This was the first time since 1989 that a Tennessee motorist was charged with second-degree murder in a traffic death.

Prosecutors said Coffey understood the deadly risks of a high-speed car chase, while Coffey’s attorney Russell Greene argued his client was afraid of being killed by law enforcement officers.

Coffey is set to be sentenced Feb. 22.