Knox County District Attorney General - Charme P. Allen

Drug Dealer Kills Two while Evading Arrest

Posted: 03/22/2019

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s office obtained a forty-eight-year sentence against a drug dealer who led officers on a high-speed chase in two counties before running a red light at seventy miles-per-hour, killing two people. Ralpheal Cameron Coffey, 29, was convicted of two counts of Vehicular Homicide, two counts of Reckless Homicide, two counts of Evading Arrest, Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Cocaine in a Drug Free School Zone, Simple Possession, and Driving on a Revoked License. At a sentencing hearing today, Judge Scott Green sentenced Coffey to serve forty-eight years in prison.


At trial in January, Deputy District Attorney Kyle Hixson and Assistant District Attorney Sean McDermott explained to the jury that on May 25, 2016, deputies with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office learned that Coffey would be in the area of Edgemoor Road. Coffey had been on the run for a year and had warrants for his arrest out of Knox and Anderson Counties for cocaine distribution charges, evading arrest, and criminal impersonation. When officers spotted Coffey’s vehicle, Coffey fled, leading officers on a high-speed pursuit lasting several miles while running multiple red lights and speeding in excess of one hundred miles-per-hour on a winding two-lane road. Eventually, Anderson County officers lost sight of Coffey and terminated the pursuit. Knox County dispatchers were monitoring the pursuit and issued an alert to Knox County Sheriff’s Office patrol officers in the area. KCSO Ofc. Andy Wilson was looking for Coffey’s vehicle as he turned from Emory Road onto Heiskell Road when he was nearly struck by Coffey as he sped toward a red light in the wrong lane of traffic. Ofc. Wilson turned around to try to stop Coffey, but he was never able to catch up with him. At the intersection of Central Avenue Pike and Callahan Drive, Coffey ran another red light and struck a pickup truck driven by victim Kevin Bradley. Bradley and Coffey’s passenger, Tommie Troupe, were killed. KCSO Sgt. Timothy Belcher led the crash reconstruction team that analyzed the scene and vehicle data. With the assistance of crash reconstructionist Bobby Jones, officers determined that as Coffey approached the intersection, seconds before impact with Kevin Bradley’s vehicle, Coffey pushed the accelerator to one hundred percent. While trying to remove Coffey from the wreckage, officers found cocaine, marijuana, and a controlled substance analogue.


“This brazen criminal didn’t want to face justice when he ran from officers,” said DA Charme Allen. “We made sure he faced justice today, and he will face it every day for the next forty-eight years.”


If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or sean.mcdermott@knoxcounty.org. For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at www.knoxcounty.org/dag and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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