handcuffs

Three years after a Decherd man led authorities on a 40-mile high-speed chase that ended in a fatal three-vehicle collision, Garieon Simmons has pleaded guilty to multiple charges.

Simmons pleaded guilty in Rutherford County Criminal Court last week to charges of vehicular homicide by intoxication, aggravated vehicular assault and reckless endangerment involving a deadly weapon.

According to prosecutors, Simmons was driving 100 mph with two agencies in pursuit in 2016 when he slammed the Cadillac Escalade he had stolen from the Coffee County Funeral Chapel in Manchester into another vehicle at a Murfreesboro intersection.

The driver of that vehicle, 28-year-old Jennifer Campos, died on impact. Her 7-month-old infant was injured in the crash, but survived due to a child restraint seat.

Another driver received non-life-threatening injuries after the vehicle Simmons was driving spun out and hit a second vehicle.

On July 24, Simmons was sentenced to serve 26 years in consecutive sentences on the three charges with parole eligibility possibly reducing the time frame.

He will be required to serve a minimum of 30 percent of a 20-year sentence (72 months) for vehicular homicide, a minimum of five years at 45 percent (27 months) for aggravated vehicular assault and an additional year at a 45-percent minimum (5.4 months) for reckless endangerment involving deadly weapon.

In total, Simmons will have to serve a minimum of nearly nine years in prison, three of which he has already served since the crash.

Following the 2016 pursuit, Simmons was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated vehicular assault, two counts of aggravated assault, theft of property, criminal impersonation, evading arrest, reckless endangerment, driving on a revoked license, violation of probation and being a habitual motor vehicle offender.

Simmons pleaded guilty to three of those charges.

Rutherford County Assistant District Attorney Paul Newman handled the case for the State of Tennessee.