An elderly Corbin man who killed his sister in a fit of “road rage” in 2011 pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges Monday in Rockcastle County Circuit Court and is now facing up to 10 years in prison.
Clyde White, who was 78-years-old at the time of the incident on Aug. 29, 2011, was originally charged with murder, attempted murder and two counts of wanton endangerment by police following a wild chase on I-75 in Rockcastle County. Prosecutors say they agreed to allow White to plea to a lesser manslaughter charge because they believe he has been suffering from mental illness from quite some time, and that it likely was a significant factor in the incident.
Rockcastle County Circuit Judge David Tapp accepted the plea agreement, but only after having to explain Monday’s proceedings numerous times to White. At one point, White and his attorney, Jerry Cox, had to leave the courtroom to discuss the deal.
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Jeremy Bartley said he believes White acted the way he did because he thought his brother, Lawrence White, and sister, Dorothy Whitaker, were trying to swindle him out of a sizable amount of money. He had been living with his sister in Richmond because his Corbin home had recently burned.
According to police, an off-duty Kentucky State Police Trooper observed two vehicles involved in what appeared to be a car chase in the southbound lane of I-75 at around 9:21 a.m. in Rockcastle County on Aug. 29, 2011.
White was driving a white van and was, apparently, chasing a blue van driven by his brother, a resident of Lexington. Both vans left I-75 at Exit 62 and the white van was seen ramming into the blue van multiple times as they traveled on KY 461 at speeds in excess of 100 mph.
According to authorities, as the two vehicles neared US 150, White used his vehicle to force the blue van into a utility vehicle parked on the southbound shoulder. The parked vehicle was owned by Direct TV and occupied by Dakota McWhorter of Waco.
Both Lawrence White and Whitaker, who was 83-years-old at the time, sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash. Whitaker later died as a result of her injuries at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. She and Lawrence White were helping their brother move back to Corbin at the time.
Clyde White fled the scene, and in doing so hit a tractor-trailer driven by James Langford, of Tenn., and owned by Big G Express, Inc. of Shelbyville, Tenn. The vehicle was not severely damaged and Langford was uninjured.
White was arrested and has been held in the Rockcastle County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash bond since being arrested by Kentucky State Police. His formal sentencing hearing on the charges is scheduled for April 26.
Second-degree manslaughter carries a possible jail term of five to 10 years. Bartley said he plans to recommend White be given a 10-year sentence in the hopes he would be incarcerated for the remainder of his life. Under Kentucky law, White would be eligible for parole after only serving 20 percent of his sentence.