UPDATE: A former Hamilton County reserve deputy and EMT has been indicted on 9 counts by a grand jury.

Justin David Whaley is accused of causing a deadly wrong-way crash on Highway 111 last July that killed James Brumlow.

Whaley was indicted on charges of:

  • Vehicular Homicide
  • DUI (x2)
  • Reckless Driving
  • Driving on Divided Highway
  • Failure to Yield
  • Failure to Maintain Lane
  • Speeding
  • Drivers to Exercise Due Care

Whaley is due back in court on March 1.  


PREVIOUS STORY: The former Hamilton County reserve deputy and EMT, who is accused of causing a deadly wrong-way crash on Highway 111 last month, was in court for a bond hearing on Tuesday.

Police say 37-year-old Justin David Whaley was driving under the influence on the wrong side of Highway 111 when he crashed into a vehicle driven by James Brumlow on the morning of July 3.

Brumlow died from his injuries.

Tuesday, Whaley appeared in court for a bond hearing after he was taken into custody. During the hearing, District Attorney Neal Pinkston expressed concerns that Whaley may have received special treatment. He argued that state law requires a reasonable amount of time must be given to both sides before a judge hears requests to change bail or release conditions. Pinkston says Whaley's attorney's filed a motion to lower his $600,000 bond just an hour before the hearing, and before Whaley was taken into custody. 

"There shouldn't be two standards set where they want to expedite a motion just because they want to," said Pinkston."It appears that he doesn't have to play by the rules like everybody else." 

Whaley's bond was set Monday by another Hamilton County judge and written in an arrest warrant issued by Soddy Daisy police. Judge Barry Steelman expressed concerns.

"He suffers a loss of liberty when a proper review has not gone on to determine whether or not that amount of a bond is appropriate under the law," said Steelman. 

The judge set Whaley's bond at $50,000 and ordered him to give up his drivers license, undergo alcohol monitoring and wear a GPS ankle monitor.

Whaley's attorney's agreed with the judge's orders and did not want to comment after the hearing.

Whaley is charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication, driving under the influence, reckless driving, due care, speeding, driving on divided highway, and failure to yield right of way.

Whaley's next court appearance is scheduled for October 11.

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PREVIOUS STORY: Soddy Daisy police have identified the suspect they say is responsible for a deadly crash on Highway 111 last month.

Soddy Daisy Police Captain Jeff Gann tells Channel 3, Justin Whaley was under the influence at the time of the crash, which happened on the morning of July 3.

James Brumlow was killed as a result.

According to the affidavit, Whaley called 911 around 5:30 a.m. and told dispatchers he had been involved in a crash. It says he stated it was a head-on collision but "was unclear on how he himself was traveling the wrong way on Highway 111."

The report says Whaley was drinking with a friend during the night. 

Investigators say Whaley, who was in a Ford F-150, was driving north in the southbound lanes before the crash. They say Whaley was in the lane closest to the median when he crossed over toward the shoulder and hit Brumlow, who was driving in the right direction.

Captain Gann says Whaley is the owner of Dead Zero Shooting Park.

According to the company’s website, Whaley is a former Chattanooga EMT and US Marine Infantry Rifleman.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office also confirmed that Whaley was a reserve deputy for the HCSO from March 2016 to October 2017. We’re told he resigned due to not being able to fulfill the number of required hours.

Warrants have been issued for Whaley's arrest and police say he has been told to turn himself in.

Whaley is facing the following charges: vehicular homicide by intoxication, driving under the influence, reckless driving, due care, speeding, driving on divided highway, and failure to yield right of way. 

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.