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Vehicular homicide, robbery cases indicted by grand jury

Becky Campbell • Jan 17, 2018 at 5:29 PM

A Unicoi County man was indicted last week by a Washington County grand jury in a vehicular homicide case that stemmed from a wreck that killed his girlfriend.

Matthew Clyde Robinson, 24, 1126 E. Erwin Road, was indicted on charges of vehicular homicide, driving on a revoked license, leaving the scene of an accident with injury and driving on a revoked license.

The crash killed 21-year-old Emily Lipson, of Kingsport.

It happened Oct. 15 shortly after 11 p.m. on Tenn. Highway 81 near Beals Flat Road. According to a preliminary crash report from the THP, Robinson was driving a 2013 Kia Rio headed south when he ran off the right side of the road. The vehicle hit an embankment, went airborne and started to roll and flip before landing on its top in the middle of the road, according to the report.

THP Trooper Joe Lunceford arrived about 11:15 p.m. to find Robinson unresponsive and lying outside the vehicle. Lipson’s body was still restrained in the passenger side of the vehicle. In a court record, Lunceford said he found several alcohol containers in the vehicle.

According to the report, Robinson was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Other cases indicted by the grand jury included:

  • Lindsey Alexandria Price, 29, on one count of aggravated cruelty to animals and cruelty to animals. She was charged in June after her former landlord found the rotted carcass of a dog officials believe she adopted from the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter two years ago. The investigation began in late May after Price’s landlord at her Northridge condo found the long-rotted carcass of an adult black and brown dog. Animal control officials said Price adopted a 12-week old puppy — named Sugar at the time, but renamed Luna after the adoption — in March 2015. Animal Shelter Co-Director Tammy Davis said she is certain the dog found is the same puppy.
  • Sonya Corder, 37, 113 Ridge Road, Fall Branch, was indicated on charges of aggravated burglary, six counts of reckless endangerment, three counts of vandalism under $1,000, theft over $1,000, evading arrest and driving on a revoked license. Deputies were called to a burglary in progress at 3068 Ridgemont Circle off Eastern Star Road, where they encountered Corder, 37, 113 Ridge Road, Fall Branch. When they arrived, officers ordered Corder out of her car at gunpoint, but she sped away, going through several yards before she made it to the road. Deputies chased Corder’s vehicle through the Harmony community, where more deputies joined the pursuit. Corder drove through several fields, swerved at deputies and eventually crashed.
  • Coleman Foster Durnford, 33, 1109 University Parkway, Apt. 4203, on a charge of attempted aggravated robbery. Johnson City police investigators said the Roadrunner Market at 901 W. Walnut St. was the scene of the incident shortly before 7 a.m. when a white male with a knife demanded money from the clerk. The clerk refused, and the man fled the scene. Durnford was found a short distance from the store and positively identified as the would-be robber by reviewing surveillance footage, police said. 

People charged in a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The next reporting date from last week’s grand jury is Jan. 22.

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