Noelle Leigh Patty
CLINTON—A trial has been scheduled this month for an Oak Ridge woman charged with homicide after a fatal car-motorcycle crash on North Illinois Avenue in January 2016.
The felony jury trial for Noelle Leigh Patty, 41, is scheduled for July 24 in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton. Patty has been charged with homicide in the death of motorcyclist Rufus E. Shephard III, 44, of Oak Ridge.
On Friday, Anderson County Criminal Court Judge Don Elledge rejected a motion to dismiss two of the five charges filed against Patty: criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment when a deadly weapon is involved. The Anderson County Grand Jury has found probable cause on the five charges, Elledge said, and no facts or evidence had been presented to the court yet. He called the motion to dismiss “totally premature.”
Patty was indicted on the five charges by the Anderson County Grand Jury on August 1, 2017. Besides homicide and reckless endangerment, the charges included failure to yield the right-of-way resulting in death, failure to obey a traffic control device, and failure to provide proof of insurance.
The crash occurred between a Cadillac STS car and Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle on Sunday evening, January 31, 2016, at the western exit of the Westcott Center, the Kroger shopping center. Authorities said Patty, who was driving the Cadillac, made an improper left turn from a right-turn-only lane at that exit, and she failed to yield to Shephard, who was riding the motorcycle north on North Illinois Avenue. Shephard died after he collided with the car, which was turning south in “the pathway of northbound traffic,” Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Chris Luethge said in arrest warrants filed after the crash.
The rest of this story, which you will find only on Oak Ridge Today, is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or recent contributor to Oak Ridge Today. The rest of the story includes information about the “undisputed facts,” results of alcohol and drug tests, and arguments for and against dismissing two of the five charges.
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