Woman sold her car to teen for $80, cops say. Both charged with homicide after he gets into fatal crash.

Source: MEGA; Nashville police

Mar. 29 2021, Published 6:34 p.m. ET

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 A Tennessee woman is accused of vehicular homicide due to reckless conduct for selling a car to a 13-year-old boy who was then involved in a fatal wreck, authorities said.

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Katrina Russell, 37, allegedly admitted she gave the keys of her Dodge Dart to the teenager in exchange for cash. The Metro Nashville Police Department said the boy told investigators he bought the car from Russell for $80. 

On the morning of March 5, the teenager, who is unnamed due to his age, allegedly was involved in a hit-and-run accident and fled the scene at speeds reaching 90 to 100 mph, an arrest affidavit for Russell stated, according to the Tennessean.

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 The boy later ran a red light, swerved to avoid another vehicle and got into a two-car collision. Officers investigating an unrelated fatal shooting nearby witnessed the crash and said David Cheatham, 71, was exiting the parking lot of O’Reilly Auto Parts when he got hit. Cheatham died at the scene.


The teen driver suffered serious leg injuries. After his release from the hospital, he was charged in juvenile court with vehicular homicide by recklessness and driving without a license or proof of insurance.

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Investigators arrested Russell, who has no permanent residence, after they received a call about people living without permission in a Nashville-area house that’s undergoing renovations. When officers checked out the house, Russell answered the door and claimed she was helping a friend paint, police said.

In addition to vehicular homicide, Russell also faces a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. 

She was being held in lieu of $6,000 bond.


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