It took just hours of deliberation Friday for a Shelby County jury to convict Bartlett Police Officer Lucas Hines in a high-profile case about a deadly crash. He will be sentenced for two counts of reckless driving on Sept. 23.
The trial took three and a half days of testimony.
In the October 12, 2014, accident Hines crashed into a car while driving through a red light. He was in a pursuit that reached speeds estimated at 75-80 miles per hour.
The other car contained two friends, Danny Floyd, 63, and Michelle Sloyan, 49, who were on the way to the movies. Floyd failed to yield to oncoming traffic and tried to turn left from Stage Road onto Bartlett Boulevard, putting him and Sloyan squarely in Hines’ path. They were not wearing seatbelts, and the crash impact ejected them. They died of their injuries.
Hines received minor injuries and was placed on leave. His department suspended him without pay after his April 2015 indictment.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol Critical Incident Response Team investigated the case and said Hines didn’t have his lights on at the time of the crash. Hines said he doesn’t remember turning them off. He also said he tried to brake when he realized the crash was imminent.
At a June hearing, a trooper testified that Hines was going 77 mph in the 40 mph zone and was only able to slow to 71 mph at impact. Floyd was driving about 25 mph.
Before the accident, Hines had been with the BPD for six years with only minor disciplinary actions in his file for clerical or grammatical issues (such as his time sheet reporting or timeliness of submitting an accident report, according to Bartlett assistant police chief Glenn Williamson in an October 2014 interview.
He was initially charged with two counts of vehicular homicide but the jury was allowed to consider lesser charges. Hines was instead found guilty of two counts of reckless driving, a misdemeanor offense.