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Jury to choose sentencing for man who shot at another motorist

Jury to choose sentencing for man who shot at another motorist

May 16th, 2018 by Lynn LaRowe in Texarkana News

NEW BOSTON, Texas —Opening arguments and testimony are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning at the Bowie County courthouse in the punishment-only trial of a DeSoto, Texas, man who shot at another driver on Interstate 30 last year.

William Calvin Crunk, 64, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to aggravated assault but wants a jury to decide his punishment as the state's only plea offer includes a prison sentence. Crunk could receive probation if the jury sentences him to 10 or fewer years and makes a recommendation for a suspended sentence. The offense includes a punishment range of two to 20 years.

Texarkana defense lawyer Derric McFarland and Assistant District Attorneys Kelley Crisp and Lauren Richards questioned prospective jurors Tuesday before 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart. A jury of seven men and five women were chosen to decide the punishment Crunk should face for shooting at a fellow motorist.

Crunk fired at a Magnolia, Ark., man who was on his way home after taking his daughter to a Dallas airport April 15, 2017, according to a probable cause affidavit used to create the following account. The victim told investigators he noticed a man in a white Kia SUV pulling a utility trailer traveling behind him at a high rate of speed and tailgating between mile markers 195 and 198.

The victim said he finished passing an 18-wheeler and moved his Hyundai sedan into the right lane when the Kia, driven by Crunk, sped past, pulled in front of him, and then slowed. The Magnolia man told investigators he passed the Kia and returned to the right lane.

"The suspect then drove parallel with him in the passing lane. The victim advised that he looked to his left and saw the suspect had his window down and was pointing a black revolver at him," the affidavit states. "The victim had his window up at the time but could see and hear a single shot being fired at him by the suspect."

The Hyundai driver told officers he heard a loud pop as the bullet passed through his door seconds before he felt a burning sensation under his left arm. The injured man followed Crunk and called 911.

Bowie County Sheriff's Office deputies documented the bullet hole in the Hyundai.

"The bullet exited through the interior of the door before grazing the victim's left tricep and coming to rest under his left arm where it left a second abrasion," the affidavit states. "The fired bullet fell out of the victim's shirt when he got out of the driver's seat, and it was collected for evidence."

Crunk was driving the Kia when deputies stopped it at the 215 mile marker. All he reportedly said to deputies was, "Nobody got shot."

Officers collected a Taurus.357 revolver from the Kia's passenger seat. One of the gun's seven bullets had been fired, authorities reported. A Sig Sauer 9mm semiautomatic pistol was recovered from the Kia's glove compartment.

Crunk is licensed to carry a concealed handgun and has no prior criminal history.

An open, partially empty bottle of wine was discovered in the front passenger seat as well. While the affidavit indicates Crunk smelled of alcohol, the affidavit does not state whether officers believe Crunk was drunk.

Crunk is free on a $100,000 bond.

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com

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