Virginia: Charles Fife held on manslaughter DUI charges after killing Kevin Harrah

Charles Fife had plenty of DUI practice before killing Kevin Harrah

From NBC 4 Washington:

A newlywed Virginia man driving home from work last month was killed in a crash with a man who lost his license because of a drunken driving conviction earlier this year.

Kevin Harrah, 27, who married 24-year-old Amanda Sharpe just more than a year ago, had just closed a Pizza Hut in Stafford the night of Sept. 16 when his car was struck from behind by 59-year-old Charles R. Fife on Route 1 near Manning Drive, police said. Fife was intoxicated, according to police.

When Fife lost his license earlier this year, he requested and was given restricted driving privileges.

Stafford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen charged Fife with involuntary manslaughter at first but recently increased the charge to aggravated manslaughter.

“We determined speed was a significant factor,” Olsen said. “He hadn’t applied the brakes before the accident. He was driving on a suspended license because of a prior DWI. And he should have had an ignition interlock in the car, which would have kept him from driving if he had any alcohol.”

A Virginia State Police trooper learned Fife may have been sending and receiving text messages around the time of the crash and got a search warrant for Fife’s phone.

If convicted of aggravated manslaughter, Fife faces the possibility of 20 years in prison.

Obituary of Kevin Daniel Harrah, 27, of Fredericksburg was taken from us, well before his time, on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015.

There are no words to describe how many lives Kevin touched with his kind heart and radiant smile. Kevin never met anyone who was not eventually a friend. Kevin loved cars, from detailing to helping lead his car club, Quantico SRT. Kevin worked hard at both work and play, and had love and passion for both. He will be missed by all.

Kevin touched many lives and will be missed by all those with whom he came into contact. These include his wife, Amanda; his parents, Danny and Retha Harrah; his brother, Randy; grandmother Neoma Powers; grandfather CC Ogden; Aunt Lula and Uncle Marshall Naylor; and extended family from California to Virginia.

Donations in Kevin’s memory may be made in person or over the phone to “Kevin Harrah’s Memorial Fund”, an account at Wells Fargo. No additional account information is required

From the Facebook page of Stafford County Commonwealth Attorney Eric Olsen:


As your Commonwealth’s Attorney, I have taken a firm stance against drunk driving in Stafford County. Unlike some other jurisdictions I am aware of (other localities in Virginia, Maryland, DC, for example), the Stafford Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office refuses the practice of routinely reducing drunk driving charges to reckless driving. We take these cases seriously and prosecute drunk driving cases aggressively. I insist on it. I believe that drunk driving is an important safety issue for our community and for all Virginians. Just look at the statistics above (taken from MADD website). Driving under the influence cannot be tolerated and as long as I am your Commonwealth’s Attorney it won’t be tolerated in Stafford County.

Inmate Details
Booking Detail
09/17/2015 06:15
Inmate Mugshot
Charge Detail :
Statute Code Description CaseNumber Offense DateTime Arrest DateTime Bond Amount
18.2-266 DWI: 2ND OFF W/IN 5Y GC15018745-00 09/16/2015 00:00 09/17/2015 00:00
18.2-36.1(A) DUI MANSLAUGHTER: INVOLUNTARY GC15018743-00 09/16/2015 00:00 09/17/2015 00:00
46.2-391(D)(2a)(ii) LIC REVOKED(DWI/MANSL): DR W/O LIC AND DWI/MANSL GT15018744-00 09/16/2015 00:00 09/17/2015 00:00
19.2-306 GOOD BEHAVIOR: VIOLATION ON MISDEMEANOR OFF CR15A00181-00 08/26/2014 00:00 10/08/2015 00:00