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Prosecutor sought in fatal crash
Nester to seek counsel to determine whether charges are to be filed
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
A special prosecutor will be sought to determine if charges will be filed in a fatal accident involving a Henry County Sheriff’s deputy, according to the Henry County commonwealth’s attorney.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Nester said Monday that he had contacted another commonwealth’s attorney about serving in that capacity and is waiting to hear if that prosecutor will take the case.
He would not identify that commonwealth’s attorney, but said if he or she does not take the case, he will try another. Sometimes they will refuse because of a heavy workload or their own familiarity with those involved in the case, Nester said.
That is normal procedure in cases such as Thursday’s accident, Nester said.
In that case, Henry County Sheriff’s Deputy J.B. Stone was responding to a call on U.S. 220 just north of Bank Services when a man, dressed in dark clothing, stepped into the left lane in front of the deputy’s police car, according to State Trooper C.A. Weidhaas.
Stone tried to swerve and miss the man but could not, the trooper said.
“In my investigation, I found this would have been an unavoidable pedestrian strike,” Weidhaas said Saturday.
Oliver Chester Rumley, 49, of 41 Ruth Court, Collinsville, and formerly of Bassett, was struck at 10:23 p.m. and pronounced dead at the scene at 10:40 p.m., Weidhaas said.
Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry said Stone is on paid administrative leave. Perry said that is the standard procedure in such cases.
Weidhaas said Saturday that a decision on whether to file charges in the case would be up to the Henry County commonwealth’s attorney.
Nester said he talked to Weidhaas on Monday, and the trooper was in the process of bringing him the entire case file.
However, “it will be short-lived in my office,” Nester said. “In a case of this nature we will get a special prosecutor” because the case involved a sheriff’s deputy “we work very closely with day to day.”
That “is the typical procedure when it’s something this close” to the commonwealth’s attorney’s office, he added.
Once a commonwealth’s attorney agrees to serve as the prosecutor, Nester said a local circuit court judge will be asked to enter an order appointing that person or an assistant in his or her office to act as special prosecutor.