TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

June 24, 2013

Meredith trial set for July

CORBIN — By Charlotte Underwood / Staff writer

A final pre-trial conference for a Tennessee man charged with murder in a crash last July near Corbin on I-75 has been set for 2 p.m. July 19.

Austin T. Meredith, 24, of Sevierville, Tenn., is charged with the murder of Howard M. “Red” White, 49, of the Shelby County community of Bagdad. His trial is set for 9 a.m. on July 23.

During a pretrial conference Friday in Judge Gregory D. Lay’s Circuit Court in London, Meredith’s attorney postponed his motion to exclude blood toxicology until discovery information regarding the blood toxicology test was obtained.

Information requested by Meredith’s attorney included a request for the operator’s manual for the blood toxicology machine, as well as a maintenance and repair log for the machine dating back three years prior and one year after Meredith’s blood was tested.

The defense also requested a number count of how many blood samples were tested at the same time as Meredith’s,  lab accreditation documents, and any deficiency reports that may be in existence in regards to the lab.  Judge Lay also granted the defense its request to visually inspect the toxicology machine. Judge Lay deferred the hearing on whether or not to exclude blood toxicology in Meredith’s trial until the discovery information requested is made available.

The incident occurred when White was operating a rollback wrecker during the early morning hours of July 7, 2012 on I-75 in Laurel County, north of Exit 29 in North Corbin, when he stopped in the emergency lane at the 30-mile marker to see if his load was secure.

While White was outside, a box truck driven by Meredith crossed the fog line, striking White and the parked wrecker. He was killed instantly.

Kentucky State Police-Vehicle Enforcement officers discovered White dead at the scene after they responded to the crash. They also found two passengers inside the wrecker at the time of the collision who were not injured.

At the time of the collision, Meredith was under the influence of alcohol, according to officers. One officer said alcohol was a direct factor in the crash. Meredith was charged with murder, wanton endangerment, DUI and several vehicle violations, and was jailed at the Laurel County Correctional Center.

The Laurel County Grand Jury indicted Meredith for murder, as well as two counts of wanton endangerment, driving under the influence of alcohol and failing to maintain insurance on his vehicle. The grand jury also charged him with failing to maintain his log book, failing to have a U. S. Department of Transportation number and failing to have a medical certificate. All three of those charges were misdemeanors.

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