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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