Franklin, Tennessee Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges In Natchez Trace Hit & Run
Marshall Neely III, 59, of Franklin, Tennessee, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to reckless aggravated assault; lying to a federal agent; and obstruction of justice, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Neely was indicted on July 28, 2017, after he struck and injured a bicyclist with his vehicle while driving on the Natchez Trace Parkway on July 8, 2017. After striking the bicyclist, Neely failed to stop and left the scene.
According to court documents, on the morning of July 8, 2017, two individuals were riding their bicycles on the Natchez Trace Parkway when one was struck from behind by a black Volvo SUV. The impact knocked the rider to the ground and destroyed the bicycle. The bicyclist sustained injuries and was transported to Williamson County Medical Center by ambulance. The other bicyclist had a helmet-mounted camera which recorded the collision, as well as the Volvo driving away from the scene. The video of this incident was later posted online and contained a visible license plate and other decals which subsequently led to the identification of the vehicle and its driver, Marshall Neely III.
That same evening, law enforcement officers arrived at Neely’s house and found him unconscious on the floor. Neely later admitted that he had been driving on the Natchez Trace Parkway earlier in the day and claimed someone threw a bicycle at his car. He also admitted that after seeing the video posted online, he removed the decals from the rear window of his car because he knew the decals would lead to his identification.
According to the plea agreement, Neely agrees to accept a term of imprisonment of 10 months, to be followed by 3 years supervised release, when he is sentenced on August 17, 2018. The agreement also calls for Neely to pay $1,210.00 in restitution to the victim.
This case was investigated by the National Park Service and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Beth Myers.