Joe Crumley’s name appeared on hundreds of indictments during the four years he served as the District Attorney General, but this week was his first time as a defendant.
Crumley, 58, 215 Scott Lane, Jonesborough, is charged with reckless endangerment, evading arrest, failure to yield to blue lights and sirens and reckless driving. The charges stem from a Sept. 21 incident in Jonesborough during which he’s accused of crossing the center line while driving and refusing to pull over when Jonesborough Public Safety officers ordered him to do so.
A judge and prosecutor from other jurisdictions are handling the case.
Greene County General Sessions Judge Ken Bailey presided over the preliminary hearing and retired District Attorney General Joseph Baugh handled the prosecution. He served as district attorney for the 21st Judicial District — which includes Hickman, Williamson, Perry and Lewis counties — from 1982-1998.
The two were appointed to the case after Washington County sessions judges and the local DA’s office recused themselves.
Jonesborough Police Officer Michael McPeak testified in the preliminary hearing that he first encountered Crumley on East Main Street when he saw an oncoming vehicle cross over into his lane.
McPeak said he turned around and activated his blue lights and sirens and followed the vehicle through town and past Five Points on Highway 81.
The officer, and later Sgt. Chad Proffitt, testified seeing Crumley with a phone to his ear during the pursuit. Crumley’s speed during the pursuit ranged from 13 mph to 48 mph once he got out of town.
Both officers knew Crumley prior to the incident, and Proffitt testified he hardly recognized the former prosecutor because of his disheveled appearance.
The two Jonesborough officers and Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. Gary Wiseman said they observed Crumley have a seizure after he was taken into custody.
Defense attorney Jim Bowman indicated that the stop was caused by a medical condition instead of a criminal act.
Judge Bailey said there was no medical proof presented during the preliminary hearing so he bound the case over to the grand jury.
Crumley was also ordered to surrender his handgun carry permit while the case is pending. Officers located a loaded 9mm handgun in Crumley’s car after the stop.
Crumley is free on bond and his scheduled to appear in Washington County Criminal Court Nov. 18.