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Posted by: Landry Butler on Oct 30, 2017

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

J. Liddell Kirk (on appeal) Keith Lieberman (at trial), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steven Dare Steelman, Jr.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Courtney N. Orr, Assistant Attorney General; Charme Allen, District Attorney General; and Joe Welker and Gary Eshbaugh, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Steven Dare Steelman, Jr., was convicted by a Knox County Criminal Court jury of aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular homicide by intoxication, vehicular homicide by reckless conduct, vehicular assault, reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, third offense driving under the influence (DUI) per se, third offense DUI, driving on a revoked license after two prior DUI convictions, and failure to provide proof of financial responsibility. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-218 (2014) (aggravated vehicular homicide), 39-13-213 (2014) (amended 2015) (vehicular homicide by intoxication or vehicular homicide by reckless conduct), 39-13-106 (2014) (amended 2015) (vehicular assault), 39-13-103 (Supp. 2014) (amended 2015) (reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon), 55-10-401 (2012) (amended 2013, 2015) (third offense DUI per se), 55-10-401 (2012) (amended 2013, 2015) (third offense DUI), 55-50-504 (2012) (amended 2016) (driving on a revoked license after two prior DUI convictions), 55-12-139 (Supp. 2014) (amended 2015) (failure to provide proof of financial responsibility). The trial court merged the vehicular homicide by intoxication and vehicular homicide by reckless conduct convictions with the aggravated vehicular homicide conviction. The court merged the third offense DUI conviction with the third offense DUI per se conviction. The court sentenced the Defendant to an effective thirty-two years’ confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions for aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, (2) the trial court should have merged the reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and vehicular assault convictions, and (3) the trial court erred during sentencing. Although we affirm the Defendant’s convictions, we remand the case to the trial court for the entry of corrected judgments reflecting the merger of the third offense DUI per se conviction with the vehicular assault conviction.