Harvill convicted of vehicular homicide

Shannon C. Harvill

A two-day jury trial concluded Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 20, at Overton County Justice Center where Shannon C. Harvill was tried for criminal offenses for which he had previously been indicted by Overton County Grand Jury.

Harvill was tried on charges of Vehicular Homicide of Shannon Cook by Intoxication, Vehicular Homicide of Shannon Cook by Recklessness, Vehicular Assault of Joy Pugh, and Vehicular Assault of Thomas Cook.

At the conclusion of the trial, the jury rendered a verdict finding Shannon C. Harville guilty on all counts.

Judge Gary McKenzie ordered Harvill’s bond revoked and had the Overton County Sheriff take Shannon C. Harvill into custody after the verdict.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled January 21, 2020.

“Impaired and reckless driving is a serious problem which is prosecuted diligently by the District Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement agencies District Attorney General Bryant C. Dunaway said.

The proof that the State presented at trial showed, in part, that on January 27, 2017, Shannon C. Harvill was driving his Nissan Sentra automobile on Highway 164 (Hanging Limb Highway) in Overton County. Witnesses testified that Harvill’s vehicle passed them in no passing zones traveling at a high rate of speed.

As Harvill attempted to negotiate a curve near the Lovejoy market at a high rate of speed, his car began to leave the roadway. Harvill’s car then came back across the roadway and into the on-coming lane of travel where his car crashed head on into a Nissan Maxima driven by Shannon Cook, 27. Other occupants in Shannon Cook’s vehicle were Joy Pugh and Thomas Cook.

The violent impact of the collision killed Shannon Cook instantly; Joy Pugh and Thomas Cook sustained serious injuries.

Law Enforcement officers obtained a blood sample from Shannon C. Harvill, which was tested at Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab. The results of that testing showed that Shannon C. Harvill’s blood contained a high level of methamphetamine. Also present in his blood were oxycodone, diazepam, and nordiazepam.

Shannon Cook’s body was taken from the crash scene to the medial examiner’s office where an autopsy was performed. The medical examiner determined that she died from violent blunt force trauma; blood testing of Shannon Cook revealed no drugs to be present.

Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated the crash with assistance by Overton County Sheriff’s Department. Overton County EMS gave prompt response to the crash scene and prompt treatment of the occupants of the vehicles involved.

“I am proud of the teamwork in this case in holding Shannon C. Harvill accountable for his violent act that took the life of Shannon Cook, seriously injured Thomas Cook and Joy Pugh, and forever affected the lives of the victims and their families,” DA Dunaway said.

The case was prosecuted at trial by DA Dunaway and Assistant District Attorney Jackson Carter.

Harvill was represented at trial by Cookeville Attorneys Bill Cameron and Lindsey Cameron Gross.