Teen pleads guilty to vehicular homicide after pastor and wife killed in Mascot crash
Teen Mekiah Davis on Monday pleaded guilty to charges of vehicular homicide after a pastor and his wife were killed in a crash on Mascot Road in September.
In Knox County Juvenile Court the daughter of Pastor Ruben Wilson and his wife, Belinda, who were both killed in the crash, gave an impassioned description of what her family has suffered.
Meghan Nicely said, "They will never see my daughter start school, graduate or get married."
Nicely described the day of the crash when she left her young daughter, Hallie, with her parents, then later got a the call to get to the hospital. "To see my baby cut, bleeding, bandaged from head to toe." She said medical professionals told her Hallie would need surgery. Her daughter has been recovering from extensive injuries.
The plea deal includes "true" or guilty pleas on four counts for the fatal crash. Two counts are vehicular homicide for the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Davis, one count is vehicular assault for extensive injuries to their granddaughter, Hallie Nicely, and another charge regarding the vehicle is for theft over $10,000. The District Attorney's office indicated some other charges were dropped in the plea deal, including theft and vandalism charges, trespassing and escape.
Nicely directed part of her impact statement to the accused, Davis, who sat in an orange jumpsuit on the other side of the courtroom. "I have to forgive...as bad as it hurts. I have to forgive you because that's what Christ would do."
Nicely also spoke directly to Davis' mother, who was present in the courtroom and signed as a witness to his plea deal. "I have prayed for your family and for your boy to change his life." She added that she wished his sentence would be longer. Davis will serve in juvenile detention as long as his 19th birthday. However, Judge Tim Irwin said Davis may get released earlier for good behavior.
Son-in-law Chase Nicely also gave a victim impact statement. He focused in more detail about his concern that a young man could make bad decisions and end up hurting others. Nicely shared his skepticism that any time in custody would necessarily reform Davis, pleading for him to consider a spiritual conversion. "In this world there is good and there is evil. I pray that you make the right choice."
Multiple references in the juvenile courtroom indicate that Davis has a history of being in Department of Children's Services custody. Chase Nicely's statement included a reference to Davis having escaped a DCS facility before taking a truck that did not belong to him.
Records from the Knox County Sheriff's Office show the truck driven by the juvenile had been reported stolen.
According to a report, the juvenile was driving the truck and another juvenile was a passenger. Both were transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center with serious injuries. The truck reportedly crossed over the yellow line in an attempt to go around a dump truck when they collided head-on with a Ford Escape.
Officials said Ruben and Belinda Wilson, who were inside the Ford, were killed in the crash. A child was also in the back seat, but the report does not list their age. Records show they were taken to Children's Hospital by ambulance.
Ruben was the pastor of Three Points Baptist Church.
The church held a special prayer service in honor of the couple Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
Investigators said charges are pending against one of the juveniles for improper passing and reckless driving.