Man sent to prison for 27 years in fatal crash

JASPER, Tenn. (AP) -- A judge in Marion County has sentenced a Signal Mountain man to 27 years in prison in the deaths of three people when the stolen truck he was driving slammed into their Jeep.

District Attorney General Mike Taylor told the Chattanooga Times Free Press James T. Meeks III must serve at least 60 percent of his term before parole consideration. Meeks was 18 when the crash occurred in June 2011. He will be 36 when his first parole hearing could be held.

Killed in the crash were 24-year-old Annie E. Blevins, 20-year-old Nicholas Scott Clayton and 21-year-old Emily F. Clayton.

Meeks' attorney worked out a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to three counts of vehicular homicide by reckless conduct and one count of reckless aggravated assault.

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