Gilmer man sentenced for manslaughter in Dec. 30 fatal crash - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Gilmer man sentenced for manslaughter in Dec. 30 fatal crash

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GILMER/UPSHUR COUNTY (KYTX) - Upshur County District Judge Lauren Parish on Friday sentenced a 20-year-old Gilmer man to 10 years' deferred adjudication, or probation, after he pled guilty to manslaughter.

Benjamin Lee Powers  was indicted in February on manslaughter charges after a Dec. 30 truck wreck that killed his passenger, 18-year-old Caderrius Deshaw Green, of Gilmer.

Green died when a westbound Ford F-250 pickup driven by Powers overturned several times on Farm-to-Market Road 49 about one mile west of Gilmer, ejecting Green from the vehicle, authorities said. Powers and another passenger, 17-year-old Cody Garcia of Gilmer, escaped injury, said investigating Department of Public Safety Trooper Brandon Love.


 

Originally posted Feb. 9, 2012

GILMER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - An Upshur County Grand Jury Wednesday indicted a 19-year-old Gilmer man on manslaughter charges stemming from a Dec. 30 truck accident that killed his 18-year-old male passenger.

Benjamin Lee Powers was originally charged with felony criminally negligent homicide in the death of Caderrius Deshaw Green of Gilmer, but the charge was upgraded to manslaughter "based on evidence the investigation showed," Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd said today.

Green died when a westbound Ford F-250 pickup driven by Powers overturned several times on Farm-to-Market Road 49 about one mile west of Gilmer, ejecting Green from the vehicle, authorities said. Powers and another passenger, 17-year-old Cody Garcia of Gilmer, escaped injury, said investigating Department of Public Safety Trooper Brandon Love.

The indictment charges Powers was "passing a motor vehicle in a no-passing zone on the crest of a hill" and exceeding the speed limit, causing the pickup to leave the roadway, overturn multiple times, and eject Green, said Byrd.

The district attorney said he could not comment on whether drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident. However, that isn't alleged in the indictment, he said.

Powers is free on a $20,000 bond under "pre-trial supervision," banning him from driving, requiring he report to a probation officer weekly, and stipulating he undergo random drug tests, Byrd said.

The initial charge against him carried a punishment range of six months to two years in state jail. But upgrading the charge to manslaughter, which is "reckless causing of the death" rather than mere negligence, puts the punishment range at two to 20 years in prison, Byrd said.

He said the DPS did an accident reconstruction of the incident.

The crash, reported at 8:27 p.m., occurred when the truck passed a car atop a hill, ran off the left side of the roadway into a ditch, was overcorrected, and rolled several times, landing on its top, Love said at the time.

None of the pickup's three occupants were wearing seat belts, the trooper said. The victim was sitting in the back seat behind Powers, while Garcia was a front-seat passenger, Love said.

Upshur County Justice of the Peace W.V. Ray said he pronounced the victim dead at the scene at 9 p.m.

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