MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A North Memphis man was sentenced to nine years in prison Friday for an alcohol-related crash that took the life of a longtime community leader and advocate for the homeless.
Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said Vinson Walls, 63, was drunk when he caused two separate car crashes on October 4, 2014.
The first crash was a two-vehicle crash at Thomas Street and Chelsea Avenue when he ran a red light.
He left that scene and went to Firestone Avenue, crossed over the center line, and hit another vehicle. He caused the vehicle to spin 180 degrees. Walls was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Prizm and crashed through a chain-link fence, hitting a steel dumpster. The crash sent the dumpster into another vehicle and it hit pedestrian Cascel Jones in the 1000 block of Firestone near Breedlove. Jones, 78, was critically injured and died four months later from his injuries.
Jones was struck on the property of an outreach community center for the homeless. It is a center he and his wife helped start to provide help to the homeless.
Prosecutors said Walls was driving on a revoked license from a previous DUI and was denied probation.
Walls had a blood-alcohol reading of .102 at the time of the deadly crash. An open 40-oz bottle of Colt 45 Malt Liquor was found on the floorboard of his car after the crash.