Manslaughter trial set for September

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2008

COURTLAND—A man who crashed on Armory Drive last June, minutes after leaving the scene of a violent altercation outside the Oak Tree Club, will stand trial in September on a manslaughter charge related to the death of his passenger.

Travis Lamont Mabry, 30, of Franklin, is charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old William Carl Fenner, also of Franklin. Fenner was partially ejected from the vehicle when it ran off the road, through a utility pole and into a ditch. He died as a result of his injuries. Another passenger was seriously injured.

Mabry was suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest at the time of the accident. His accident came just minutes after shots were fired at the Oak Tree Club on Rose Valley Road. One person was shot in the leg, and another may have been shot outside, police said at the time.

Nineteen-year-old Dexter Grant of Southampton County was arrested later that week and charged with malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with the altercation at the club.

He is set to be tried July 7.

Mabry had been scheduled for a jury trial earlier this week, but the proceedings were halted after his arraignment, when it was discovered that one of his witnesses had not appeared in court.

About a dozen other witnesses for the defense and prosecution were on hand for the trial, and Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke objected to a defense motion to continue the trial.

But Circuit Judge J. Warren Stephens, a substitute judge, gave credence to the defense attorney’s contention that the absent witness’ testimony would be important to his client’s case and agreed to continue the case until Sept. 30.

If convicted, Mabry could face up to 20 years in prison, with a mandatory sentence of one year.