Knox County man convicted of killing son in moonshine-fueled drunken driving crash

Steven Steelman Jr. (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A Knox County man has been convicted in a moonshine-fueled, drunken driving crash that killed his son and critically injured his nephew.

Steven Steelman Jr., 35, was convicted Wednesday of aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, driving under the influence third offense, driving on a revoked license, and failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility.

Prosecutors said around noon on November 23, 2014, Steelman was driving with his son and nephew on West Beaver Creek Drive when he lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree. The impact killed Steelman’s 10-year-old son and broke three vertebrae in his 11-year-old nephew’s spine.

Steelman failed field sobriety tests and admitted to drinking around a half quart of moonshine the night before. Blood tests showed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.144, nearly twice the limit of 0.08. He also had marijuana in his system and his driver’s license had been revoked for prior DUI offenses.

Sentencing is set for October 27. he could face between 25 and 45 years in prison. The Knox County District Attorney’s Office will seek an enhanced sentence because of the nature of the offense, his prior criminal history and the fact that Steelman is listed with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office as a member of the Aryan Brotherhood street gang.

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