Hung jury: Fleeing robber won't be charged in trucker's death

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Monday, January 26, 2015

A federal jury found enough evidence to convict Francis H. Dishmon of attempted bank robbery during his trial in November, but could not reach a verdict on whether or not he was also guilty of killing a truck driver during a 2013 attempted robbery at a bank in Miami, Okla.

Rather than retry Dishmon on the charge of killing while attempting to avoid apprehension, a federal judge has upheld a motion by federal prosecutors to drop the charge altogether.

The trucker, James Carl Wivell, 48, of Longmont, Colo., died on the scene from injuries sustained in an accident on U.S. 69A, three miles north of Quapaw, Okla., on Aug. 28, 2013.

Wivell was traveling north when a speeding vehicle driven by Dishmon, of Tulsa, attempted to pass the semi while being chased by law enforcement. Another southbound vehicle was oncoming, which caused Dishmon to swerve right to avoid a collision. His car struck Wivell’s rig in the front driver’s side.

Authorities said Wivell was pinned in the cab of his 2008 International tractor trailer for about 15 minutes while members of the Quapaw Fire Department worked to extract him.

Dishmon’s car spun around several times, struck an abandoned vehicle parked on the shoulder, front driver side to front driver side, continued spinning, and ran off the south side of the roadway. It came to rest in a ditch, according to the accident report. The driver exited his vehicle and attempted to flee on foot, but was apprehended a short time later.

Wivell’s tractor-trailer rolled onto the driver's side after impact, slid several feet northwest, went completely across the roadway and struck the guardrail, coming to rest.

According to the motion filed by prosecutors on Jan. 9, Dishmon’s actions may be taken into account as relevant conduct when he is sentenced.

A sentencing hearing has been set for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 28 in U.S. District Judge John E. Dowdell’s court.

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