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Oak Ridge woman faces more charges in motorcyclist’s death

(Information from Oak Ridge Today) An Oak Ridge woman has been charged with homicide in the the death of a motorcyclist in a fatal car-motorcycle crash on North Illinois Avenue in January 2016. It’s one of two new felony charges added in the case against 40-year-old Noelle Leigh Patty.

Patty is accused of criminally negligent conduct that resulted in the death of 44-year-old motorcyclist Rufus E. Shephard III of Oak Ridge, at the western exit of the Westcott Center, the Kroger shopping center, on January 31, 2016.

Patty was indicted by the Anderson County Grand Jury on August 1st and now faces a total of five criminal charges, according to our partners at Oak Ridge Today. Two of the charges are felonies, and three are misdemeanors. The two felony charges, which are both new, are criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment when a deadly weapon is involved. The three misdemeanor charges are failure to obey a traffic control device, failure to provide proof of insurance, and failure to yield the right of way, resulting in death.

The crash occurred between Patty’s Cadillac STS car and Shephard’s Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle on Sunday January 31, 2016. Authorities said Patty was driving the Cadillac and made an improper left turn from a right-turn-only lane at that exit, and failed to yield to Shephard, who was riding the motorcycle north on North Illinois Avenue. Shephard died from his injuries.

Patty has an arraignment scheduled for August 28 in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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