Driver Arrested After Police Find Severed Torso Inside Car, Later Released on Bond

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
June 19, 2019USshare
Driver Arrested After Police Find Severed Torso Inside Car, Later Released on Bond
Dorrae Debrice Johnson was arrested on charges of driving on a revoked license, hitting a pedestrian, and evading arrest. (Knox County Detention Facility)

A Tennessee man was arrested after slamming into a utility pole on June 16 on suspicion of killing a pedestrian whose severed torso was found inside his vehicle.

Dorrae Debrice Johnson, 29, was being chased by a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper when he swerved off the road, hitting a pedestrian.

The crash took place in Knoxville around 3:30 a.m., reported Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Johnson eventually slammed into a utility police and was arrested on charges including vehicular homicide, evading arrest, and driving on a revoked license.

VMC sadly learned today that one of our neighbors passed away over the weekend as the result of a traffic accident….

Volunteer Ministry Center စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၉၊ ဇွန် ၁၇၊ တနင်္လာနေ့

Officials suspect the severed torso belonged to the pedestrian and that his upper body likely flew through the windshield and into the car when Johnson struck him. They found the rest of the remains at the site of the crash; the pedestrian was identified as Darryl Eugene Butler, 65.

In a Facebook post, Volunteer Ministry Center said that it had worked with Butler recently and placed him in housing.

“Daryl achieved housing 2-3 weeks ago and had persevered for over a year to achieve his housing goal and to leave the streets behind him. Even though life had not always been easy, Daryl was a bigger than life personality and will be remembered for his smile, contagious positive attitude and always having a story to share with others. You will be remembered Daryl,” the group stated.

Butler’s son, Mark Butler, learned of his father’s death on Father’s Day.

“He just didn’t deserve this,” Butler told WBIR. He said he was finding peace in the memory of his father as he struggled not to cry.

“That’s the peace, that’s the part, that’s the love and the heart and the legacy that I want to continue for my dad,” he said. He also said that he forgave Johnson.

“I forgive the guy that did this to my dad with 100 percent of my body,” Butler said. “Everything that’s within me, I forgive him. Just please, tell everybody and tell them that my dad said he forgives them too, please.”


According to arrest warrants obtained by the News-Sentinel, the trooper tried to pull Johnson over for not staying in his lane on I-40. Johnson pulled over but when the trooper was approaching his vehicle, he shouted that he had to get somewhere and put his foot on the gas.

The trooper gave chase.

Johnson exited the highway and eventually veered onto the sidewalk, striking Butler.

“The driver continued on until he lost control of the vehicle and hit a utility pole,” the report stated. “The driver then fled on foot from the vehicle. The trooper was able to catch up to the suspect and took him into custody.”

According to WLVT, the officer who arrested Johnson wrote that the suspect said “he knew he was ‘blitzed,'” or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He said he was drinking tequila. The officer said that Johnson appeared intoxicated, with bloodshot, and watery eyes.

He was asked who was in the vehicle with him and Johnson replied that he and the passenger had switched seats. The officer soon discovered that what he thought was a passenger was actually the severed torso. He then found the rest of the body nearby.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken employee Percella Etherton told WBIR that she witnessed officers at the scene later on Sunday, describing the vehicle Johnson was driving.

“Looked like someone had come completely through the windshield,” Etherton said. “There was like a big huge hole in the windshield.”

According to arrest records obtained by the broadcaster, Johnson has a number of arrests in his past, including a driving while intoxicated charge in 2017.

Johnson was released on $76,000 bond on June 18.

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