Macon County Chronicle

Grand Jury Indicts Michael Bentley for Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication

Michael Bentley

The Macon County Grand Jury indicted 25-year-old Michael Allen Bentley for vehicular homicide by intoxication and failure to show proof of insurance, in connection with a May truck wreck that killed his passenger.

On Saturday night, May 28, 2016, Michael Bentley, of Westmoreland, was driving a red 1975 Chevrolet pickup east on Green Valley Road around 11:40 p.m. when the passenger’s side tires traveled off the south side of the roadway. According to Trooper Donoho, of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Bentley overcorrected causing the vehicle to go into a yaw and it traveled off the north side of the road. 

Trooper Donoho said the vehicle struck a large tree on the passenger’s side, and came to rest in a creek bed at the bottom of a 25-foot-deep-ravine. 

Mr. Benjamin Dylan Harper, 25, of Lafayette, was a passenger in the truck and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr. Bentley was transported for medical treatment.

The indictment reads:

(Count 1) The Grand Jurors of Macon County, Tennessee, duly empanelled and sworn upon their oath present that Michael Bentley on May 28, 2016 in Macon County, Tennessee, and before the finding of this indictment, did unlawfully and recklessly kill Benjamin Harper by the operation of an automobile, the killing of Benjamin Harper being the proximate result of the intoxication of Michael Bentley as set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated 55-10-401, in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated 39-13-213 and against the peace and dignity of the State of Tennessee.

(Count 2) The Grand Jurors of Macon County, Tennessee, duly empanelled and sworn upon their oath present that Michael Bentley on May 28, 2016 in Macon County, Tennessee, and before the finding of this indictment, did unlawfully drive a motor vehicle upon a public highway in Macon County without being able to provide proper evidence of financial responsibility for said vehicle.

His bond was set at $75,000.