Police: 3 Doors Down member charged in fatal crash

Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 9:01am

Bassist Robert Todd Harrell of the rock band 3 Doors Down has been charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication after an interstate crash claimed the life of another motorist in the Nashville area, police said.

The 41-year-old musician remained jailed early Sunday in connection with the fatal accident late Friday night on Interstate 40 that left 47-year-old Paul Howard Shoulders Jr. dead, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said.

A police statement said a preliminary investigation showed that Harrell was driving west at a high rate of speed in Hermitage when his car clipped a pickup truck driven by Shoulders. Police said the pickup then went out of control, struck a guardrail, went down an embankment and overturned. Shoulders was ejected.

Authorities said Harrell's car hit a retaining wall and stopped about a quarter mile away.

Police said Harrell showed signs of impairment when he underwent field sobriety tasks, adding in their statement that "he acknowledged consuming hard cider and taking prescription Lortab" and Xanax.

Shoulders, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at a Nashville hospital, authorities added.

The police statement said Harrell, of Mt. Juliet, also was charged with bringing controlled substances into the jail. Authorities said sheriff's deputies had discovered a plastic bag concealed in his sock that contained eight Xanax pills, 24 Oxycodone pills and four Oxymorphone pills during a search at the booking room.

Early Sunday, a jail official contacted by The Associated Press said Harrell remained in custody in lieu of $100,000 bond. The official, who declined to be identified by name, said Harrell was not available and jail records didn't indicate whether he had an attorney.

The official said Harrell faces a court appearance Thursday morning.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Paul Howard Shoulders, Jr. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this difficult time," said a statement released on the 3 Doors Down website.

The band, which formed in Mississippi in the '90s and has hits with "Away From The Sun" and "Kryptonite," did not elaborate on the statement.

Metropolitan Nashville Police, contacted by the AP, said they would have no further information beyond the statement released on a local government website. Authorities reached at a county sheriff's office said they had no information. 

7 Comments on this post:

By: Vuenbelvue on 4/21/13 at 7:49

I wonder why the fairly small bond, $100,000, for Manslaughter, DUI, Possession, etc. Did his "celebrity" status deserve that. Just another bar band member/singer obviously way strung out. Plead guilty and save the money that will go to your new friends, the criminal lawyers. Your done.
RIP to the innocent driver killed and good luck to the family..

By: whitegravy on 4/21/13 at 1:20

Wow, let me get this straight...he gets a small $100,000 bond for a VEHICULAR HOMICIDE, POSSESION, and DUI.....must be nice to have FRIENDS in HIGH PLACES....just sayin

By: Left-of-Local on 4/22/13 at 9:15

WAIT WAIT... How come everyone is so fast to jump on the (stupid, irresponsible, and certainly-blame-worthy) driver and NOT A SOUL is pointing out the VASTLY STUPID choice made by the other drive to not wear a seatbelt.

The musician's lawyers should lean on that to make the death a non-issue. People need to learn to use their damn safety belt. NEVER should the law condone even the most egregious of faults by one person when the other person BROKE A LAW TOO that contributed to their own death.

Totally misguided priorities, folks. Get your redneck asses into your seat belts and THEN we will talk.

By: Jughead on 4/22/13 at 9:40

Left-of-Local: Can you please wander in the freeway and do society some good? You are a freakin moron.

By: FaceBook:Emmett... on 4/22/13 at 10:58

Bond amounts vary according to whatever magistrate is sitting at any given time. I've seen the same charges where bonds can be different by 2, 3 or even 5 times the amount. The fool should have given up the other drugs at the scene because it's a different level of felony to have them in a penal institution which includes the jail's booking room. Blaming the other guy for not having a seat belt on is idiocy. Like blaming the victim of a shooting for not having on a "protective vest" or something.

By: cudaviper on 4/22/13 at 11:31

Left of local: Wait, perhaps you should lose a loved one like we have, and then try and equate the guilt as being equal. Death a non-issue, really. Lets look at the facts here. 2nd offense within a year, speeding, crashing into another car causing death of another human, drunk and on drugs=no seat belt. Jughead is right, perhaps your moral compass is in need of recalibration. Then again, sometimes you just can't fix stupid, good for you stupid isn't a class A felony.

By: FaceBook:Emmett... on 4/22/13 at 12:02

I looked at the court record and I see a previous speeding conviction back in (I think) '09 and that's all. The felony of possession inside the jail is what's going to get him. They convict on that first and then the vehicular homicide/intoxication becomes a second felony conviction. Except for having them inside the jail, it would have been just casual possession or exchange which is a misdemeanor.