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Nick Shepherd

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Woman sentenced in Blountville crash that killed retired THP trooper

May 21st, 2014 6:41 pm by Nick Shepherd

Woman sentenced in Blountville crash that killed retired THP trooper

Jaime Nichole Marissa McClain booking photo from the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office, following her 2012 arrest on the indictments.

A woman who pleaded guilty in March to a host charges stemming from a 2012 Blountville crash which killed a retired Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper was sentenced to serve all of her time in prison.

Based on the plea agreement, Jaime Nichole Marissa McClain, 22, would serve 30 percent of four and a half years behind bars. She appeared in Sullivan County court on Wednesday for sentencing, with the possibility of receiving only probation or a combination of jail and probation.

McClain previously pleaded guilty to multiple charges stemming from the incident, including DUI, vehicular homicide, reckless aggravated assault and drug possession. Wednesday's hearing began with her addressing the family of Barry Myers, 62, who was killed in the crash.

"I wish I had the words, but there's not any words I can say because they don't exist," she said as tears began to flow. "I wish I could tell you how deeply sorry I am for the choices I made that day...I hope one day you will find it in your heart to forgive me. I wasn't raised this way."

On June 25 of 2012, McClain was driving eastbound on Highway 75 when her 1996 Pontiac Grand-Am crossed the center line and collided head-on with a 1999 GMC truck, driven by Myers' son. Myers was the passenger and died at the hospital the next day.

The defense called two witnesses to talk about how devastated McClain has been since the wreck occurred.

Assistant District Attorney Lesley Tiller then called to the witness stand a shift manager at Walmart . She said McClain had been caught shoplifting $46 worth of jewelry and socks from the store on December 22, 2013.

A probation/parole officer who was in charge of McClain's parole also told the court McClain had tested positive for hydrocodone on a drug test in April.

Blood tests revealed McClain had hydrocodone and Xanax in her system at the time of the crash. Officers also located prescription medications, drug paraphernalia and a marijuana cigarette in McClain's purse during their investigation.

The defense argued McClain told the parole office she had a prescription and provided a prescription list which showed she did indeed have a prescription for Hydrocodone, but it was written in April of 2013.

The family of Myers then testified to the court about the loss of a husband, father and grandfather. All of the family members who testified became emotional when talking about what the loss had done to their family.

All these factors weighed into the judge ruling for McClain to spend her sentence behind bars instead of on probation or a combination of jail and probation. He also revoked her bond for the theft charge, which is pending in Kingsport court.

Tiller was happy with the outcome.

"We're pleased the judge ordered the full sentence in the department of corrections," she said. "Based on the nature of the crime, driving while impaired by prescription drugs, one of which she didn't have a prescription for, she posed a risk to the public at large...confinement in the department of corrections was the only appropriate sentence."

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