ERWIN — The results of a toxicology report may determine what charges an Elizabethton man arrested in April for vehicular homicide may face in Unicoi County Criminal Court.
Randy Julian made an appearance in Criminal Court on Friday morning. Julian was charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication, three counts of vehicular assault, driving on a revoked license and having no proof of insurance in connection with a fatal collision that occurred March 27 on Sciota Road in Unicoi.
Assistant District Attorney General Fred Lance said Friday that Julian’s blood work has been returned and will now be sent to a toxicologist to determine the amount of intoxicants in Julian’s system. Lance said this is to ensure Julian is being charged appropriately.
“We want to have the correct information to offer when the time comes,” Lance said Friday afternoon.
Judge Lynn Brown said the minimum sentence for vehicular homicide by intoxication is eight years, and the charge of reckless vehicular homicide, which Julian could be charged with pending toxicology results, carries a minimum sentence of three years.
According to a report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 29-year-old Unicoi resident Tabetha Grindstaff was killed in a collision that occurred March 27 on Sciota Road. Grindstaff’s passengers — her two children and an adult male — were injured in the collision.
The vehicle driven by Grindstaff was traveling eastbound on Sciota Road while the vehicle driven by Julian was traveling westbound when Julian’s vehicle crossed the center line of the road and struck Grindstaff’s vehicle head-on near the road’s eastbound shoulder, according to the THP report. Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jim Jackson previously said Unicoi County Coroner Ed Herndon pronounced Grindstaff dead at the scene.
Court documents state that during the course of the investigation, Julian told officials he had taken Xanax and methadone the day of the collision. Jackson said Julian turned himself in to Carter County authorities on April 2 on a violation of probation charge and was later transported to the Unicoi County Jail.
Julian is no longer being held in the jail, and Brown ordered Friday that a GPS monitoring bracelet Julian had been wearing be removed.
In May, Julian’s case was bound over to a Unicoi County grand jury, but Julian has not yet been indicted. Lance said the toxicology report is necessary to ensure the proper charges are submitted to the grand jury. The jury is scheduled to meet on Oct. 24, and Julian is scheduled to appear in Criminal Court on Nov. 9 for arraignment.