An elderly Kingman is returning to the Arizona Department of Corrections a second time for separate traffic accidents where authorities determined he was at fault. William Shelley, 81, and his attorneys pointed blame at the other drivers on both occasions.
A Mohave County Superior Court Jury deliberated about one hour November 29 before finding Shelley guilty of endangerment, criminal damage and driving when his license had been suspended. Police and prosecutor Bob Moon alleged that Shelley caused a two vehicle collision when he pulled his van out in front of an oncoming passenger vehicle on Stockton Hill Road near the main post office.
No one was seriously injured in the wreck that saw the 2002 Nissan burst into flames.
Shelley uses a motorized chair to get about and he is beset by vision and hearing challenges. Moon said Shelley made incriminating statements to investigating officers.
``He admitted 'I have no business driving', but he drove anyway," Moon told the jury during his closing argument.
Shelley faces between 1.75 and 6.5 years in prison when sentenced December 30.
Shelley was sentenced to four years in prison in December, 2010 for another two vehicle collision that claimed the life motorcycle driver Ken Grantham in December, 2009. He was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident involving death.
Shelley offered bowel challenges as an explanation for leaving the scene of the Grantham accident.
``I had the runs," Shelley said. ``I filled my britches."
Grantham's wife Lequita chastised Shelley for leaving her husband at the accident scene "like he was road kill, like he was nothing, like he was nobody." She also told the Court that she heard Shelley complain that the accident occurred because her husband was trying to commit suicide by being struck by the truck.
Mohave County Sheriff's Detective Todd Foster testified at the first trial that Shelley was responsible for the deadly accident because he made an ill-advised left turn into the path of Grantham's oncoming motorcycle at the intersection of Fairgrounds and Andy Devine Avenue.