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Driver in fatal Roanoke wreck is denied bond after upgraded charges

Driver in fatal Roanoke wreck is denied bond after upgraded charges


A Roanoke driver charged in the death of another man, and previously granted release on bond, has now been ordered back into custody without bail.

Timothy Maurice Cotton initially was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 57-year-old Timothy Gravely, following an April 10 crash at an apartment complex in the 1600 block of Wayne Street Northwest, just off Williamson Road.

During July’s grand jury session, Cotton was indicted on new and more serious charges, including aggravated DUI manslaughter, hit and run resulting in death and DWI as a first offense.

Although the exact circumstances of the crash are still being investigated, and little information has been released, during a bond hearing Tuesday, assistant prosecutor John Beamer said that around 5:15 p.m. that day, Cotton backed a 2008 Ford Escape into a pillar on the property, then accelerated rapidly and eventually struck other vehicles in the parking lot before leaving the scene. He was taken into custody about a block away and reportedly told police he had consumed about three drinks.

Gravely “was found underneath the debris” from the initial collision, according to Beamer, and he was hospitalized but died within the hour.

Tracie Cooper with the state medical examiner’s office said Wednesday that the cause of Gravely’s death was trauma to the torso and lower extremities, and the manner was listed as accidental.

After Cotton’s arrest in April, he was granted bail on the condition that he submit to 30 days of inpatient alcohol treatment. According to defense attorney Greg Phillips, Cotton successfully completed that program and has continued with it on an outpatient basis over the past two months.

Phillips also pointed to Cotton’s compliance with law enforcement, saying that he has reported on schedule at each requirement and turned himself in at the police department after being notified of his recent indictments. He has now been held since July 9.

Judge David Carson determined that while he did not feel Cotton, a lifelong Roanoke resident with family ties to the city, was a flight risk, he did not believe he could set conditions that would guarantee public safety “against potential danger to others and yourself.”

Cotton’s next court date will be scheduled at the city’s next docket call on Aug. 2.

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