The man who pled guilty in a deadly road rage crash near the downtown expressway will spend nearly four years in prison. Thursday, a judge sentenced Christopher Sessoms for involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of last year's accident.
Prosecutors say emotions raged when Sessoms was behind the wheel last September. They also raged from his family members after he was sentenced to three years and ten months behind bars.
"Get that camera out of here that's what we have to say," one shouted, while another grabbed an NBC12 camera.
In court Thursday, Sessoms' girlfriend gave her version of the encounter with Chris Fisher on their way home to North Carolina. She said Fisher was the instigator. Accounts from three eyewitnesses who testified for the Commonwealth differed greatly from that description.
"It all just happens so quickly," witness William Jordan said.
He recalled a red pickup truck, driven by Sessoms, cutting off Fisher and then slamming on the brakes. From there, the road rage turned deadly.
"They started zigging and zagging in the outside lanes until the red truck started forcing him off the road, to which at that point because it was raining he slid up the embankment and ended up hitting the support under the bridge," Jordan recalled.
Authorities say the 41-year-old sped off. Fisher would never recover from his injuries. He was taken off life support eleven days later. The 24-year-old's mother broke down on the stand saying Sessoms' actions after the crash were cowardly and caused more pain. She told the judge, "Mercy should not rob justice."
"He was not taking responsibility and that just prolongs the grieving process," Prosecutor Michael Hollomon said.
The judge had to decide how to deal with an assertion from the defense attorney that "Mr. Fisher contributed to his own demise." In the end, even after Sessoms apologized to the court and said he learned a lot from this, that judge believed the testimony of the independent witnesses and handed down a sentence at the high end of the guidelines.
Sessoms' attorney says he will not appeal.
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