Plea deal reached death of DA's wife - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Plea deal reached death of DA's wife

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

COVINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - A plea deal was reached Monday in the death of the wife of a Tennessee District Attorney.

The crash, which outside of Ripley last October. took one life and turned many others upside down.

It put the District Attorney of five West Tennessee counties in roles he's not used to.  Mike Dunavant, who often prosecutes drunk drivers, became the victim such a driver, his neighbor, Melody Caldwell.

According to police, Dunavant's wife, Jackie, was in the passenger seat of her husband's Lexus convertible when the deadly crash happened.  Caldwell, her friend and neighbor, was behind the wheel.

A report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol report says both Caldwell and Dunavant had been drinking.  Police say while the pair was traveling along Highway 19, their slid onto the shoulder.  Caldwell overcorrected, steering into oncoming traffic lanes.

The Lexus overturned and trapped both of the women.

Monday, Caldwell reached a plea deal, pleading guilty to felony reckless homicide, and misdemeanor DUI per se, based on blood alcohol content.  Two other charges against her were dismissed.

Instead, Caldwell was sentenced to 10 days in the Lauderdale County Jail, with two years probation.  Her driver's license will also be suspended for one year.

Mike Dunavant did not want to comment on the plea deal Monday.

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