Walter Hale died Saturday from the injuries he sustained from a hit-and-run crash in Dayton.
DAYTON, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: The man arrested for a deadly hit and run in Dayton faces new charges following a court appearance Friday.
The Rhea County Criminal Court Clerk's Office says 51-year-old Douglas Alvey now faces charges of first degree murder, vehicular homicide, and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries.
Alvey was originally charged with criminal homicide after police say he ran over an employee of We Care in September.
Alvey remains behind bars.
His next court date is scheduled for February 8.
Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.
PREVIOUS STORY: After a two-week search, the Rhea County Sheriff's Office arrested a suspect in the fatal hit-and-run crash that killed 60-year-old Walter Hale.
Douglas Edward Alvey, of Hamilton County, was arrested and charged with criminal homicide. He made his first court appearance in Rhea County Court Tuesday afternoon.
The Dayton Police Chief said his department, and the Sheriff's Office has been taking this case personally.
"28 years I've been here, I don't know that there has ever been as many manhours have has been put into a case," Chief Chris Sneed said.
The Dayton Police Department and Rhea County Sheriff's Office said they scoured the motor vehicle database across seven surrounding counties, yielding more than 300 results for a white Ford Ranger.
Then police started going door-to-door.
"When we went to a residence that this truck was registered to we had to physically look at the truck, we had to inspect each and every truck," Chief Sneed said.
One of those truck owners is 51-year-old Douglas Alvey.
When police knocked on his door they said he jumped out a window and ran into the woods.
A group home neighboring his property went on lock down while police searched the area.
"We were kind of concerned not knowing what was going on so we locked down the houses," said employee Ken Hamons, "I ask one of the deputies what was going on he said they were looking for a person, a hit and run from Dayton and said that we were safe."
The police report said Alvey's family members positively identified him as the man in the surveillance video. Officers said the store surveillance video shows the suspect they're looking for has a "distinguished walk."
After a long search he was arrested and taken into custody.
Police said they found Alvey's white truck abandoned at a Lowe's parking lot on Gunbarrel Road.
"Just the satisfaction knowing he's in jail," Chief Sneed said.
Alvey was brought before a Rhea County judge but did not say a word in court. His bond hearing and preliminary hearing have been scheduled for October 4th. Until then, he will be held in jail with no bond.
"I would like to see him just plead guilty and save a lot of time in court," said David Helzel.
Walter Hale's coworkers at the "We Care" thrift store said they're grateful police dedicated so much time to finding his killer.
"The fact that they just wouldn't give up until they found the guy was just very reasssuring, not only for me but everyone here," Helzel said.
Now employees are trying to find the strength to keep working. Hale's daughter is also an employee, she's now home taking care of her sick mother.
"She just needs a lot of prayers right now, and his wife, she's going through a hard time," he said.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Rhea County man involved in a hit and run accident last week has died. Dayton Police said Walter Hale died Saturday from injuries to his head. They are still looking for the man responsible for running over Hale between the Krystal and the We Care Thrift Store.
Police said Walter Hale was eating lunch behind the We Care building when a man tried to drop off damaged goods. Walter confronted the man; the man ran him over and sped off. Police are now looking for the person responsible.
Dayton Police need your help identifying the man. “We feel like with the time frame, when he pulls into the lot and comes inside the store. He is the one operating this vehicle,” said Chief Sneed.
They said he's the person of interest involved in a hit and run accident that killed Walter Hale. “For it to take place here, it is unfortunate, it is tragic, it is hard to believe that would happen here.”
Hale worked at the We Care Thrift Store for six years. He was known as the handy man. “Repair things, take care of the maintenance needs we have here. He was good at it,” said Store Manager Ina Reing.
Coworkers remember him as a positive influence. “Bring something to him to talk about, you would walk away smiling and laughing. Very fun to work with,” said David Helzel. They said he was always full of life and easy to get along with. “Always so happy, quick wit, make a joke about anything.”
Hale's friends hope the person responsible will come forward, so they can get answers, and peace. “Somebody we can't replace as a friend, hard to replace as a worker,” said Reing.
Officers vow they won't give up looking for the man who killed Walter Hale. “Justice will prevail at some point, when we will find him I don't know, but we are not going to stop looking,” said Chief Sneed.
$1,000 Reward has been posted by the Rhea County Sheriff's Dept. and the Dayton City Police Dept. for help identifying person of interest believed to be involved in recent hit and run of We Care employee.
If you have any information please contact Rhea County Sheriff's Dept. at 423-775-2442 or the Dayton City Police Dept. at 775-8403.
The employees of We Care are hosting a benefit Saturday (Sept 17) to help the family of Walter Hale. For more information, there is an event set up on the We Care Thrift Center page
PREVIOUS STORY: Dayton Police Chief Chris Sneed tells Channel 3 that Walter Hale died Saturday as a result of the injuries he sustained in the hit-and-run crash last week.
A $1,000 reward has been offered for information in the case.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Rhea County Sheriff's Office and the Dayton Police Department are offering a $1,000 reward for help in a recent hit and run case.