A 19-year-old Knoxville man apologized Tuesday in Sevier Court Circuit Court to family members of a former Sevier County sheriff’s deputy he killed last year in a high-speed crash on Chapman Highway, according to Sevier County Assistant District Attorney Steve Hawkins.
Hawkins said James Christopher McCown Jr. pled guilty to vehicular homicide by recklessness in the death of 34-year-old Travis H. Breeden of Sevierville.
“(McCown) turned to the family and apologized,” Hawkins told a Herald reporter Tuesday afternoon. “He said he was sorry and wishes he could take it back.”
Evidence presented by Hawkins to Circuit Court Judge Dick Vance indicated that McCown was racing another motorist traveling north on Chapman Highway between Sevierville and Seymour on Feb. 22, 2004.
“He and another fellow were racing side by side and (McCown) was going well over 100 miles per hour,” Hawkins said.
The other motorist, Dustin Koontz of Sevierville, told Hawkins “he backed off” just before the 6:30 p.m. crash. Koontz was not charged.
McCown, driving a 1987 Toyota Supra, hit Breeden’s car head-on in a southbound lane. “(McCown) crossed all lanes of traffic and hit him head on,” Hawkins said.
Breeden was driving home from his job at ALCOA in a 1998 Plymouth Neon when the crash occurred near Floyd’s Market, Hawkins said.
Breeden had previously worked as a sheriff’s deputy.
Neither drugs nor alcohol were a contributing factor in the accident, Hawkins said.
Vehicular homicide by recklessness is a Class C felony and carries a penalty of three to six years in prison. McCown, who is free on bond, will be sentenced by Vance on Jan. 9.