James Dyrke Johnson, 39, of Anniston, allegedly fled from police on the night of Aug. 1 and crashed, killing his passenger, Harold Henry Davis, 46, also of Anniston. Johnson is now also charged with first-degree receiving stolen property.
Anniston police Sgt. Allen George said Johnson and another man stole the vehicle from a car dealership in Knoxville, Tenn., around 1:30 p.m. on July 29. Anniston police had not received surveillance video from the dealership Thursday, so they had not identified the other man.
Joan Davis, 63, Harold Davis’ wife, said Johnson was taking her husband back to the Center of Hope drug rehab program.
She said her husband had left the facility but he regretted the decision, and called Johnson to return him, she said.
Johnson had been drinking, Joan Davis said, but he was trying to help his friend.
Harold Davis never made it back to the program, where he would finally kick his “bad addictions,” his wife said.
Police said they pulled Johnson over around 12:45 a.m. because his car did not have a tag. When they asked him for identification, Johnson raced away.
Davis, an amateur wrestler who billed himself as “ The Chief,” was killed on impact with several trees near the 300 block of East Glade Road.
Johnson’s bond for the vehicular homicide is $500,000.