A pregnant mother and her toddler son died after a Tennessee man allegedly drove his car onto a sidewalk Monday, intentionally killing them, according to police. While authorities initially charged him with two counts of murder, the charges have been upgraded to reflect a third murder charge for the unborn baby.
Knoxville News Sentinel reports that Sierra Cahoon and her 2-year-old little boy, Nolan, were walking on a sidewalk Monday, closed to Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, when William David Phillips drove a Chevy Impala onto the sidewalk and plowed them down.
According to police, Phillips, who allegedly hit 61-year-old pedestrian Tillman Gunter before spotting Cahoon and Nolan, said “a voice told him that he needed to go kill meth addicts so he began driving very fast.”
After hitting Gunter, Phillips saw Cahoon walking with her little boy in a stroller, and allegedly heard a voice that told them there was meth in the stroller.
“He said the voice told him that the baby stroller had meth in it so he intentionally drove into (the mother and child) … killing them both. This act was done with premeditation,” the arrest warrant read.
Both Cahoon and Nolan passed away shortly after the incident. Gunter was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
After running the pregnant mom and son over, Williams crashed into a fish hatchery building, injuring a worker.
“He penetrated the building after taking out a guy-wire on a telephone pole, sending a stop sign 300 feet through the air across the top of the building into one of the employee’s cars here,” hatchery owner John Carberry told WBIR.
William David Phillips was in court in Jeff. Co. this morning.
He is charged with 3 counts first degree murder & 1 count attempted first degree murder after killing Sierra Cahoon, her unborn child, and her 2-year-old son on Monday.
He is being held without bond pic.twitter.com/OZ4946ldeJ
— Katie Inman (@Katie_Inman) June 20, 2019
Williams didn’t know any of the victims, police said. He was subsequently arrested and along with three counts of murder, he also faces two counts of attempted murder in connection with the hatchery worker and Gunter.
District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn will possibly push for the death penalty, ABC 6 reports. He explained, however, that he’s still researching the case and doesn’t yet have a definitive answer.
“My mind is not been made up yet, but we’ll look at all the issues. We look at all of the statutes and determine then what we are going to do. There’s good and bad things about whatever the penalties are. That’s something that weighs very heavily on any prosecutor’s mind, as to what is the proper way to handle a particular case. It takes a lot of thought, It takes a lot of research, and for me, it takes a lot of prayer.”
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
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[Feature Photo: Sierra Cahoon/Facebook, Legacy]