Kingsport trucker gets 6-month jail sentence

Associated Press • Mar 24, 2007 at 9:48 AM

KNOXVILLE - A judge ordered a trucker whose speeding rig killed an off-duty University of Tennessee police officer in a crash to spend six months in jail.

Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner denied the request by Steven Allen Qualls Jr., of Kingsport, to serve his entire four-year sentence on the criminally negligent homicide conviction on probation.

Upon completing his jail time, Qualls is to serve the remaining sentence on probation.

Qualls, who was 24 at the time, was speeding when his tractor-trailer crashed into the car of UT Police Officer Benjamin Arthur Bohanan in a November 2004 incident.

Qualls had been found guilty of three previous speeding violations.

"The court finds that the circumstances of this offense resulted in an especially violent, horrifying and shocking result," Baumgartner said in his ruling. "The collision was of such a nature that it completely destroyed the other vehicle and immediately killed the victim."

Qualls must report to jail or inform the court of intent to appeal by April 9.

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