WRAL Investigates

Murder charges filed in Wilson pedestrian deaths

Posted September 15, 2010

— A Kenly man charged in the June deaths of two pedestrians in Wilson has been indicted on murder charges.

A Wilson County grand jury indicted Jimmy Vincent Coleman, 34, of West First Street, on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of driving while impaired. He remains in the Wilson County jail under a $100,000 secured bond.

The charges stem from the June 6 deaths of pedestrians Amie Sullivan, 25, and Nikki Whitley, 22. The two women were struck and killed in the 3400 block of Raleigh Road Parkway in Wilson as they walked home from the restaurant where Whitley worked.

Coleman also faces two counts of felony death by motor vehicle and one count of driving with a revoked license in the case.

According to state Department of Correction records, Coleman has a history of traffic offenses, including six speeding tickets since 2002 that were all resolved by guilty pleas to having an improper muffler. His driver's license had been revoked because of a previous DWI conviction.

WRAL Investigates found that Wilson County's dismissal rate for speeding tickets ranged from 11.7 to 23.5 percent over the last five years, while the statewide rate was between 5.9 and 7.2 percent during that period.

Jimmy Coleman, charged in Wilson double-fatal wreck Murder charges filed in Wilson pedestrian deaths

Relatives of Sullivan and Whitley have expressed outrage over Coleman's ability to continue driving with such a lengthy record of infractions.

"This man had been given every opportunity in the world to get a chance to get his life back together, and he didn't take it," Whitley's mother, Lisa Whitley, said Wednesday.

"Every day, we hear something else (abut Coleman), and every day, it gets harder and harder and harder not to judge," said Sullivan's aunt, Zebbra Kriger. "It should not have happened. Those girls didn't ask to die that day, but they did."

Lisa Whitley said losing her daughter has been difficult.

"Every day is still hard," she said. "You know, you go to sleep at night, and everything starts over the next day. Well, every morning when I wake up, I have to remember my daughter's gone."

Coleman's attorney, Terry Alford, said they look forward to trying the case.

"There are two sides to every story, and we look forward to telling our side," he said.

29 Comments

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  • hollygunter1234 Sep 17, 2:43 p.m.

    I don't understand why tacopablo would say they had no business walking? I don't think the driver had any business driving. It is too bad that most cities in America and especially the South are not pedestrian friendly. There are restaurants and fast food chains lined up door to door, block to block. People waddle out of these places and only drive a few minutes home. Maybe the city of Wilson should play a roll in the death of these two young women for not providing adequate pedestrian walk ways.

  • szkriger3 Sep 16, 7:15 p.m.

    YELL WHAT A JOKE WE ARE GOING THOUGH ALOT OF PAIN AND YES IF YOU KNOW YOU DID THIS TAKE TAKE THE PUNISHMEHT FOR IT GOD KNOWS WHAT WE ARE GOING THOUGH WE WILL NEVER HAVE HOLIDAY'S WITH THE GIRLS ARE BIRTHDAY'S TO CELEBRATE WITH THEM AGAIN HIS FAMILY WILL WITH HIM EVEN IF HIS IS LOCKED UP FOR YEARS THANK EVERYONE FOR BEING BEHIND US WE WILL NEVER FORGET THE OUT POUR OF SUPPORT ZEBBRA KRIGER [AMIE'S AUNT] GOD BLESS YOU ALL

  • highspainting Sep 16, 6:39 p.m.

    we the family of amie and niki are praying for the coleman family but they need to put there self in our shoe and what we are going thru you dont drink and drive and take lives of others believe us we wish it would of never happened but it did niki and amie will never be forgotten may they rest peace

    we amie family will also never forget the niki family may we always be close

  • lilone332 Sep 16, 1:43 p.m.

    to luckyladybug238.... yes his dismissed tickets were written in Wilson. Also you can stand at the Kenly city limits sign and throw a rock and hit the Wilson County sign so it's not like there is some great distance between the two. WRAL's report was not misleading because the dismissal rate in Wilson County almost doubles most of the other counties in NC which is what they reported and furthermore the lawyer's don't decide what the charges get reduced to, the District Attorney does!

  • skyyekatfromafar Sep 16, 9:58 a.m.

    Two sides to every story??? I feel sure we're all waiting to hear that 'side of the story'!! (And one wonders why lawyers have such a bad reputation--wonder no more!)

  • dldobbins Sep 16, 9:52 a.m.

    When a person decides to drink and drive and they kill someone as a result of that decision then they should take responsibility, not use "I was drunk at the time" as a defense. You KNOW that when you drink and drive you could harm yourself, destroy property, and possibly kill others in the process. It is that disregard for human life that is being highlighted by this trial. I think the DUI laws in this state are very relaxed and that is how people can continue to drink and drive and kill other people. Letting him off is minimizing the value of his victim's lives; for me that would be the greatest tragedy. I'm sure the families of these women would agree that they were loved and endearing to someone.

  • delilahk2000 Sep 15, 5:57 p.m.

    IS HIS LAWYER INSANE? THERE ARE 2 SIDES TO EVERY STORY! GET REAL, THEY DID NOT TELL HIM TO GET DRUNK AND RUN OVER US. IT IS DISSCUSTING, THAT THEY SEEM TO ALWAYS BLAME THE VICTIM. WHAT COWARDS YOU DID THE CRIME AND YOU KNOW YOU DID. BE A MAN AND ADMIT IT.

  • colliedave Sep 15, 5:17 p.m.

    According to state Department of Correction records, Coleman has a history of traffic offenses, including six speeding tickets since 2002 that were all resolved by guilty pleas to having an improper muffler

    If it hasn't already been done, our lawmakers need to outlaw these type of plea deals

  • Spirit Warrior Woman - Rev. RB Sep 15, 5:09 p.m.

    Dang drunks!!!

    When is our justice system REALLY going to make the penalties stiff enough to make people think before they drink and drive???

    Praying for the loved ones of his murdered victims, and yes - by deciding to drink and drive, he murdered them, plain and simple.

    God bless.

    RB

  • pwilliamson53 Sep 15, 4:45 p.m.

    Yes it is two sides to every story. The right and wrong choices. He made his choice to drive impaired, no licenses and numerous charges, he killed 2 young ladies and now he should pay the price. Life in prison. Please don't let our justic system fail these families. He had his chances to change and didn't. The lack of hard punishments, these criminals are put back on the streets to be repeaters. He's been granted a bond, chances are he'll could possibly run and still not face his punishment. Just my opinion and again two sides to every story.

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