BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - A Mountain Brook man jailed since 2013 in a fatal-hit-and-run on a Birmingham interstate pleaded guilty today to the deadly wreck.
William Tynes Sevier III, 25, was charged with murder, manslaughter, robbery and leaving the scene of an accident after he was arrested in connection with the crash that killed an Irondale man. He pleaded guilty today to reckless manslaughter in the death of 49-year-old Charles Allen Taylor, the manager of Splash Adventure in Bessemer.
Under today's plea agreement, Sevier was sentenced to 20 years in prison with five years to serve. He was given credit for time already served since his arrest in August 2013. Sevier is represented by Birmingham attorneys Brett Bloomston and Tommy Spina.
"He's already served 18 months," Spina said. "He never made bond even though he could have. We elected to start the consequences for his behavior immediately upon his arrest."
The crash happened about 7:30 p.m. on that Sunday on I-59/20 near the airport. Authorities said Taylor was driving his black Chevrolet Tahoe in the northbound center lane between the exits for Tallapoosa Street and Airport Boulevard. Sevier was driving a stolen gold Hyundai Elantra in the same direction and was changing lanes into the middle lane when he struck the rear bumper of Taylor's SUV.
The collision, authorities said, caused Taylor's Tahoe to flip several times. He was ejected from the SUV and pronounced dead on the scene. Sevier left the scene, but was later arrested when a Birmingham East Precinct officer spotted the suspect's vehicle in the rear of America's Best Inn on Messer-airport Highway. Sevier was then found in the hotel lobby.
Police said the manslaughter charged stemmed from the fatal crash. The murder charge was brought because a death occurred while in the course of another felony which was the robbery in Homewood.
Prior to his arrest that night, Sevier already had an extensive arrest record in Jefferson, Shelby and Tuscaloosa counties. He pleaded guilty earlier this to a charge of attempting to elude police. He was convicted of resisting arrest in 2010, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a forged instrument, public intoxication and criminal trespassing in 2009, and possession of marijuana in 2008.
Sevier was involved in another high-profile wreck in 2007. He was one of five Mountain Brook teens in a vehicle that crashed in the 4800 block of Overton Road in Irondale on Dec. 7. Two teens, Josh Hadraba and Leah Marks, were killed in that crash. A third person was seriously injured. Sevier, a passenger, was treated and released from the hospital the following day. The driver, John Hamilton Perkins IV, pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and one count of assault.
Perkins in 2009 was sentenced to a 10-year split, with one-year to serve and five years of probation.
All other charges against Sevier from his 2013 arrest were dismissed today as part of the plea deal. Spina said the victim's family agreed to the terms.
Spina said Sevier expressed his remorse in open court today to all those affected by his past behavior, particularly to the family of the victim and to his own family for what he has put them through. "He is ready to pay his debt to society, and then return to society where he will be placed on five years of probation and lead a productive life."