Franklin man pleads guilty to crashing car, killing friend

Published 10:47 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2008

COURTLAND—Travis Lamont Mabry, who crashed his car while trying to rush a wounded friend to the hospital, pleaded guilty Monday to one charge of involuntary manslaughter in Southampton County Circuit Court.

Mabry, a 30-year-old resident of Franklin, received a five-year suspended sentence, as a result of a plea agreement, from Judge Westbrook J. Parker. Mabry also had his driver’s license suspended for three years and will pay all court costs, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke. He could have faced up to 20 years in prison, with a mandatory sentence of one year.

The charges stem from the death of 23-year-old William Carl Fenner, also of Franklin. Mabry, thinking Fenner had been shot in the head following a fight and shooting outside the Oak Tree Club, allegedly sped into Franklin and crashed on Armory Drive.

Fenner was partially ejected from the vehicle when it ran off the road, went through a utility pole and into a ditch. He died as a result of his injuries. Another passenger, Octavia Hodge, was seriously injured.

Doctors later determined that Mabry had been shot earlier at the altercation outside the Oak Tree Club, finding a chest wound and shrapnel after the crash.

The car accident came just minutes after shots were fired at the club on Rose Valley Road. According to police, one person was shot in the leg, and another may have been shot outside.

Dexter Grant, a 19-year-old from Southampton County, was found guilty of unlawful wounding at trial on Aug 12. Sentencing in that case will be on Oct. 10, in the courtroom of Circuit Court Judge E. Everett Bagnell.