Man accused of highway shooting pleads not guilty

William Crunk shortly after arrest (photo by Field Walsh | TXK Today)

A 64-year-old Desoto, Texas, man accused of shooting a fellow motorist on a Bowie County highway in April has pleaded not guilty.

William Calvin Crunk appeared for arraignment Wednesday before 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart. Crunk’s attorney, Derric McFarland of Texarkana, entered a not guilty plea on Crunk’s behalf to a charge of aggravated assault with serious bodily injury.

Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp told the court she and McFarland have not been able to reach an agreement in the case and expects a trial setting will be needed. Crisp said the state was withdrawing an offer for a plea bargain made previously and that the state wants to exercise its right to a jury trial. Lockhart said Crunk’s case likely will not go to trial until some time in 2018.

Crunk is facing two to 20 years if found guilty of firing a handgun as he drove next to another driver on Interstate 30.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Crunk was driving a white Kia SUV on I-30 east April 15 while pulling a utility trailer. The driver of a red Hyundai sedan told officers he was driving to his home in Magnolia, Ark., after a trip to Dallas to take his daughter to Love Field to catch a flight. The Hyundai driver said he noticed the Kia following him as he passed an 18-wheeler and then moved into the right lane. The shooting victim told Bowie County Sheriff’s Office investigators that the Kia passed him and then pulled in front of him and slowed down, causing the Hyundai to pass the Kia.

The Hyundai driver said the Kia then pulled up alongside him, lowered his window and fired a shot from a black revolver. The Hyundai driver said he could see and hear the gun being fired. The bullet passed through the Hyundai’s driver’s side door just below the handle and grazed his left arm. When the Hyundai driver got out of his car, the bullet fell out of his shirt and was collected by deputies.

When officers pulled over the Kia, Crunk allegedly said, “Nobody got shot,” but would say nothing else about the incident. A Taurus .357 revolver was collected from the Kia’s passenger seat which had allegedly been fired. Also found in the passenger seat was an opened bottle of wine Crunk had allegedly been drinking.

A 9 mm pistol was collected from the Kia’s glove box. Deputies determined Crunk does have a Texas handgun license.

Lockhart scheduled Crunk to return to court for a pretrial hearing in August. Crunk is currently free on a $100,000 bail bond.

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