Suspect's mother told pastor of son's involvement in deadly crash

Suspect's mother told pastor of son's involvement in deadly crash

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - William Cross, the suspect accused of a car theft and car crash that killed a beloved mentor and coach made his first court appearance on Thursday.

Cross, 19, appeared in recorder's court following his arrest on May 2.

According to investigators in court, Cross developed as a suspect when an anonymous tipster contacted police who knew Cross and went to church with his mother. The tipster told police through crime stoppers that she knew of Cross' involvement in the crash and his whereabouts.

Police also said that Cross' mother admitted to her pastor that he was the driver of the car that fatally hit Pollard.

Police detailed the initial contact with Cross in the stolen 2007 Audi A8 on April 18. Police said they attempted to make a traffic stop, but Cross allegedly fled, and police later "terminated the pursuit" of Cross.

The officer testified that Cross was traveling at a high rate of speed, in excess of 60 miles per hour, in a 35 mph zone. Both police cars involved in the pursuit had working dashboard cameras.

As he fled, police said Cross dropped the red jacket he was wearing in a nearby gas station parking lot. In the pocket of the jacket, police found a hotel key card. Police later obtained a search warrant for the hotel room, and during their execution of the search warrant, Cross arrived at the Value Place Hotel, located on Victory Drive, and was arrested.

The hotel room was registered in Cross' mother's name.

Another law enforcement investigator detailed that during the investigation, they found surveillance tape from the hotel that showed the hotel clerk asking Cross why he cut his dreadlocks. Photos and video released by Columbus police during the investigation described the suspect as a young man with dreadlocks.

Cross is alleged to have stolen a car and was being pursued by police on April 18 when he ran a red light on Buena Vista Road, causing a 3-car accident that claimed the life of David Pollard, 36.

Pollard was a special education teacher and baseball coach at Carver High School. The beloved mentor was a husband and father, and has been honored by the community and his school. The home baseball field at Carver High has been named in his memory.

Cross is being charged with felony murder, theft by taking (auto) and first-degree felony vehicular homicide. The judge denied his bond on the felony murder charge, but granted bond amounts on the 13 other counts including vehicular manslaughter, speeding, theft by taking motor vehicle, fleeing, alluding, leaving the scene, failure to report an accident, failure to render aid, no insurance, speeding, reckless driving, duty to report an accident, and failure to obey traffic laws, totaling $118,600.

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