A man who shot a motorist from Arkansas last year while they were both traveling on Interstate 30 in Texas was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday, the Texarkana Gazette reported.
On April 15, 2017, William Calvin Crunk, 64, fired once through the door of a rented red Hyundai Sonata being driven by 57-year-old Forcie Wyrick as the two traveled through rural Bowie County. Wyrick testified that he had no idea why Crunk shot him.
Wyrick was driving to his home in Magnolia after dropping his daughter at Love Field in Dallas. Wyrick called 911 and reported Crunk's location via mile markers as he followed him for approximately 20 miles down the highway at high speeds. Wyrick was met by an ambulance at a highway truck stop and taken to a Texarkana hospital for treatment.
"I wondered if he was driving down the highway shooting people and I just happened to be one of them," Wyrick testified.
Wyrick's left tricep was gouged by the bullet and his rib cage injured after the bullet passed through the Hyundai's door. Wyrick and members of law enforcement testified that if the bullet was not slowed by the car door, Wyrick could have suffered fatal injuries.
Crunk's only statement after being pulled from the Kia at gunpoint by authorities was that he didn't shoot anyone.
After being told that he had hit another driver, Crunk never asked about the man's condition and offered no explanation for his behavior. Crunk was heard talking to his two dogs on a dash camera video played for the jury. A loaded .357 was recovered from the Kia's passenger seat and a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic pistol was found in the glove box. A bottle of peach brandy was recovered from the front seat area and officers testified Crunk smelled of alcohol.
Crunk testified Wednesday that Wyrick, whom he had never met before, was driving aggressively. Crunk claimed he could not call 911 because his cellphone battery was dead and he didn't have a working charger.
Crunk testified he was driving from his home in DeSoto, Texas, to property in Ben Lomand, Ark., which had been left to him by his grandparents.
Assistant District Attorneys Kelley Crisp and Lauren Richards argued that Crunk's claims were incredulous and that even if Wyrick had cut Crunk off, it did not warrant the use of potentially deadly force. Crunk's lawyer, Derric McFarland of Texarkana, asked the jury to sentence Crunk to probation, citing his lack of prior criminal history and commitment to his family.
Crunk must serve at least 50 percent of his term before becoming parole eligible because a deadly weapon was used.
"Our sensibility, as law-abiding citizens, is offended when a motorist on our interstate highway opens fire randomly on another driver," Crisp said. "We are thankful that the jury agreed and deemed William Crunk's behavior sufficiently unacceptable as to merit a sentence of 15 years imprisonment. This verdict recognizes the danger presented by behavior of this type and, in our view, correctly rejects probation as an appropriate punishment."