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Jury: Driver in 2012 Norman crash guilty of manslaughter

Last week we wrote twice about the ongoing trial of a man involved in a fatal car wreck last year. The 54-year-old man was charged with manslaughter after his pickup truck crossed the center line of State Highway 9 and struck an oncoming vehicle. The driver of the vehicle he hit, a 36-year-old woman, died at the scene of the car accident.

The two-week long trial came to an end last week when the jury found the defendant guilty, sending him to jail for 38 years. The trial focused heavily on whether the man was under the influence of prescription drugs at the time of the crash. The day of the crash, two different people called 911 to report the man's erratic driving, and the arresting police officer found pill bottles in his truck. To no avail, the defense attempted to question whether the man was actually under the influence when the crash occurred.

Because the man had been convicted of felony drug crimes three times before, the jury decided he deserved a lengthy prison sentence. The defendant's attorney said they plan to appeal the ruling.

It is undoubtedly fortunate that this man will be off Oklahoma roads for many years. But while this may serve as some form of solace to the friends and family of the woman killed, it does little to make up for their tragic loss. At the very least, hopefully this man's lengthy sentence will help ensure that others think twice before getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Source: The Norman Transcript, "Jury finds Peters guilty in woman's death," Michael Kinney, April 19, 2013

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