Soller Has Several Run-in's With The Law.

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Sevier County (WVLT) -- Pigeon Forge Police Lieutenant Steve Helton remains in critical condition.

According to officials at the UT Medical Center, he is currently in a medically induced coma.

He was off duty on Wednesday when drove his SUV into Lt. Helton.

The driver was William Soller Jr., who now faces three felonies in connection with the accident.

We now know that Soller has an extensive history of run-in's with the law.

In 1999 he was charged with breaking the hand of an officer who tried to stop his fight with another man at a bar.

Additionally, he has been charged with DUI's in 1999, 2000, 2004, and 2007 of this year.

The charges in '99 and '00 resulted in probation after he plead guilty to reduced charges.

The '04 charge came after his SUV hit a KUB dump truck, causing a muddy mess on the road.

For that charge he was sentenced to nearly a year in jail, but served only 45 days.

But having been charged with four DUI's, some are wondering how he's walking the streets.

According to Sevier County defense attorney Ken Gilleland, the maximum DUI sentence for the first three remains the same.

"A first, second, and third offense are all A misdemeanors," Gilleland said. "The maximum sentence you can get is 11 months and 29 days, less than a year."

Gilleland says even though the DUI law are tougher than they use to be, they are not intended to be as harsh as the public would like.

"It's not set up to prevent someone from doing something wrong," he said. "It's set up to react when they do something wrong."

Susan Cook is the chairman of LEGACY, an organization that wants to toughening traffic laws.

She says administrative license revocation needs to be passed to get licenses out of the hands of violators.

"It allows law enforcement an administrative way to take that license," she said.

But Gilleland says taking away licenses don't help, even for first time offenders.

"When they get out of jail in 48 hours, there is nothing that prohibits them from getting behind the wheel of a car and driving drunk," he said.

Cook thinks the main problem with sentences is that the judges give the minimums, sometimes just a couple of weeks long.

"If I take a year, short a day, out of your life that's a true impact on your financially on your family," She said.

Sevier County Circuit Judge Richard Vance had released Soller on a recognizance bond pending an October hearing on a probation violation with his latest DUI.

Today, Judge Vance revoked the bond, meaning Soller will remain in jail until his October hearing date.

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  • by William Location: pensacola Florida on Mar 24, 2010 at 12:19 PM
    My dad is a nice man he just had downfalls in his life. Nobody can tell me they haven't had a mistake He's a nice man and he loves his kids
  • by Charles Location: Pigeon Forge on Dec 7, 2007 at 01:03 AM
    It really is sad to see just how so many people can be so ignorant and blind. If Helton was a saint as everyone makes him out to be than he wouldn't allow a decent young man sit in jail and take the blame for his drunken wrecklessness. I heard the wonderful Officer Helton was 3x the legal alcohol limit when he ran into Soller. I also here he's quite the family man that was on his way to his young girlfriends house that night. Yea he's a real hero. But nobody wants to here that, he's a cop so lets just cover that little tidbit up and go after Soller. We all know he's an easy target. No one cares about him anyway except his wife,children and family. There only dirt bags like the rest of us. Now Steve, he's a cop. A true Saint! So don't ask to many questions, you just might learn the truth. It's easier to run your mouth off and try to get everyone to beleive only what you want them to believe. I'm glad to hear Steve's out of the hospital and already at the bar partying again. A real hero!
  • by Sam Location: Sevierville on Oct 2, 2007 at 03:31 PM
    William Soller, the person who commited the hit-and-run on Pigeon Forge police officer Steve Helton could be out and drinking and driving again, and as early as tomorrow night! Soller was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Friday, September 28th. He continued that until November 8th at 9:00 AM, in large part because of the presence of the media and the hundreds of citizens that showed up to give there support for Officer Helton. Most of those supporters think Soller will be kept safely behind bars until November 8th. This is NOT so. Soller has a $200,000 bond on the three felony charges. Soller is financially able to make that bond at any time. What has kept in in jail is his violation of community corrections charge in Sevier County Circuit Court. He has a hearing tomorrow October 3rd at 9:00 AM in Circuit Court. If Judge Vance dismisses his violation charge or sentences Soller to just time served, Soller will be out of jail tomorrow, possibly at a bar near you!
  • by Sam Location: Sevierville on Sep 23, 2007 at 10:34 PM
    You have no idea what kind of person this William Soller is. When the police first located him and interviewed him at his home, he initially blamed his wife, Monika, yelling and screaming at her that she had done this and he was shipping her back to Checkoslovakia. Then he told the officers who responded that this must have been done by one of his brothers, who also have extremely long records and many run-ins with law enforcement. Soller even went so far as to name some friends and co-workers that MAY have been driving him home. He then suggested it might have been his girlfriend. He was willing to blame anyone but HIMSELF. And now we hear that his defense will be to blame Steve Helton by saying that Helton was drinking that night. Soller should grow up and be a man, not a 36 year old child who is trying to point the finger at everyone else, instead of the one person who's irresponsible actions caused this all, William G. Soller.
  • by sam Location: pigeon forge on Sep 23, 2007 at 12:15 AM
    To answer the question by Jim in Knoxville. Helton was on a bike and he collided with Soller..I dont know who ran into who. But because Helton is a cop they didnt feel the need to take his blood or see if he was drunk only the other party is wrong..don't want anything bad to happen to the creditability of the tourist area right when a cop is driving drunk right? Hmm...interesting.
  • by Gina Location: Seymour on Sep 4, 2007 at 06:47 AM
    First of all Emily, you are right, Steve Helton is a good man. But that is the only point you are correct on. I do not need to know Soller to know that he is not a good man, his record speaks for itself! A good person would not have a record the length that Soller does. Yes, good people do make mistakes, usually one or two, and then they learn from them. Soller obviously has not learned. He was not supposed to be driving, he did not have a license. Does he actually have to kill someone before he finally learns a lesson? Good people also do not hit someone and drive off possibly leaving them there to die. It was not fate as you stated that brought these two men together that night. It was the combination of bad laws in TN and the fact that Soller is indeed a low life. Oh, and you are correct on one more point, this could happen to any of us, as long as people like Soller are on the road. I wonder how your family would feel if it was you in the hospital fighting to live?
  • by David Location: Sevier County on Sep 3, 2007 at 11:15 PM
    I was with Steve at the Brewery and I asked him if he was ok to drive when he left, he said yeah. I was gonna give him a ride but I trust Steve's judgement, he's a great police officer..My prayers go out to him and his family
  • by Emily Location: Pigeon Forge on Sep 3, 2007 at 07:46 PM
    First of all, I know both families. any person that knows Soller or Helton thinks the world of both. Steve, I know was @ the Brewery drinking and like no condition to drive. Fate just so happened to take a horriable twist and brought together two men coming from two different bars, both good men. Soller is no low life, actually the opposite. This could happen to any one of us.
  • by John Location: Sevier County on Sep 3, 2007 at 12:32 PM
    The real problem here is Sevier County judges plea bargaining mandatory DUI offenses because of a overcrowded jail in state decertification. The real blame belongs to STUCK ON STUPID Larry Waters and the STUCK ON STUPID County Commissioners. Too bad Steve had to pay the price for it.
  • by Jim Location: Knoxville on Sep 2, 2007 at 08:19 PM
    I'm confused..who ran into who? Soller had been in a bar, and where had Helton been? Was blood taken from both of them?
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