Probable cause hearing waived

Feb. 07, 2013 @ 05:06 PM

The accused killer of a 5-year-old Henderson boy appeared in Vance County District Court Thursday, waiving a probable cause hearing and sending his felony death by vehicle case to Superior Court and closer to a trial.

Vincent Eugene Gregory, 47, is charged on four counts for the 1 p.m., Jan. 27 crash in the 600 block of East Montgomery Street that killed Jayden Chad Stokes and critically injured the boy’s father, Richard Thomas “Chad” Stokes, while father and son were walking to a park to play.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Gregory (no relation) staved off a defense attorney’s motion to reduce Vincent Gregory’s bond, which remains at $1,001,000. Vincent Gregory is still in the Vance County jail.

Evidence in the case that would have been available to establish probable cause before Judge Amanda Stevenson included carefully catalogued hair fibers and swabbed substances removed from the red 1988 GMC 1500 truck that Vincent Gregory drove.

Henderson Police Department Officer Chris Martin said in written investigative statements that when he arrived at the scene, emergency medical responders were already there trying to save Jayden Stokes.

“This child was bleeding profusely from his mouth and forehead,” Martin stated in a search warrant affidavit, adding that the truck had run over from the roadway, striking a utility pole and then a tree. The child lay behind the truck when Martin observed him.

Martin indicated he then discovered Vincent Gregory weeping while wandering the area, his gait swaying and his speech slurred with red glassy eyes and the odor of alcohol about his breath and clothing.

Martin quoted him as saying, “Yeah, I was the one who was driving.”

“I determined the subject, Vincent Gregory, to be impaired,” Martin said. “The child died as a result of his injuries.”

Police investigators retrieved from the vehicle search bottles of Keystone Beer, Bud Light and Sparks Blackberry. They also seized 13 packets of suboxone medication, numerous red paint chips, a cell phone and documents.

The truck was registered in the name of Coretta Mae Wimbush, noted as living at the same 270 Sparrow Lane address as Vincent Gregory, who is named in more than 30 references to past incidents of driving while license revoked charges in Vance County court records.

Gregory also has multiple notations for past charges of fictional driving documentation, driving uninsured, unsafe movement and seat belt infractions, plus a three-count felony drug possession case from 2002.

The father, Richard Stokes, 22, received treatment at Duke University Medical Center.

Vincent Gregory is charged on counts of felony death by motor vehicle, assault inflicting serious injury by a motor vehicle, driving while impaired and driving while license revoked.

Court records note a March 19 scheduled hearing date for the case, subject to change because of the transfer to Superior Court.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.