JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (WATE) – Charges against a Jefferson City man continue to stack up in what investigators believe were intentional acts of violence against random pedestrians Monday night.
Those acts took the life of Sierra Cahoon, her two-year-old son Nolan and her unborn child. It injured a 61-year-old man and an employee inside a building into which William David Phillips drove his vehicle before he was arrested.
He faces two first-degree murder charges and an attempted first-degree murder charge, but more are on the way. Because Cahoon was expecting, the Jefferson City police chief says another murder charge is looming.
An affidavit indicates the driver stated he was hearing voices at the time of the crashes and one voice told him there was meth inside Nolan’s stroller. Police say the victims were chosen at random.
Meanwhile, the city, church community, and Carson Newman campus are dealing with what happened. They held a vigil at 2 p.m. Tuesday to pray for everyone involved with the tragedy. Some took the time to remember.
Jessica Lawson, director of Steps of Faith Pre-School, said Tuesday she’s received a lot of calls from people wanting to know how they can help.
“He’s a lovely boy and we’re going to miss him so much,” Lawson said. “It’s rocked our community. It’s rocked our school. We’re just devastated. I can’t even put into words how we feel,” she added.
Crystal Dillon and Lee Rosenbalm are teachers as Steps of Faith. They took the time Tuesday to share some of the joy they got in spending three days a week with Nolan.
Dillon wanted to share Nolan’s love of learning. She said he was able to spell his name, he knew his numbers and shapes, and even spoke above his age level. Neither teacher remembered him ever crying.
“It just doesn’t seem like it really happened. You just can’t believe something like that would happen. They are like you’re own, every day,” Dillon said.
Although they won’t see him sitting in the same seat he’s sat in since he started preschool there, they say they’ll remember him as “amazing, sweet, always smiling, laughing. Always excited and happy.”
“I don’t think we’ll ever know why on this side until we get there. We won’t care then, because we’ll all be together and happy. It’s hard not to question why, but you have to trust there’s a plan,” Rosenbalm added.
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