Knox County drunk driver receives 32 year sentence for son’s death

Steven Dare Steelman (Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Steven Dare Steelman (Knox County Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A man convicted of killed his son and critically injuring his nephew was sentenced to 32 years in prison.

A jury found Steven Dare Steelman, Jr., 35, guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, driving under the influence third offense, driving on a revoked license and for not having insurance in September 2015. He was convicted for an incident on November 23, 2014.

The Knox County District Attorney’s office said Steelman received an enhanced sentence from Judge Steve Sword because he had 13 prior felony convictions. He was also classified by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office as a member of the Aryan Brotherhood.

Steelman was driving with his son and nephew on West Beaver Creek Drive, lost control of vehicle and struck a utility pole and a tree, according to the district attorney’s office. They said the impact of the crash killed Steelman’s 10-year-old son and broke three vertebrae of his 11-year-old nephew’s spine.

The district attorney’s office said Steelman failed sobriety tests and admitted to drinking half a quart of moonshine the night before. They said forensic analysis of his blood showed his BAC was .144, nearly twice the legal limit of .08. His driver’s license was also revoked at the time due to prior DUI offense.

“My Office aggressively prosecutes DUI cases to try to deter impaired driving because it so often leads to fatal consequences,” said District Attorney Charme Allen. “Unfortunately, previous trips to prison did not deter Mr. Steelman’s criminal conduct and a child’s life was cut short.”

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