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Utah man sentenced after plea deal reached in DUI-related death

According to police reports, a man died after he fell from the hood of an accelerating vehicle back in May 2015. His friend, who was driving at the time, was arrested on numerous charges, including vehicular homicide. In Oct. 2015, the Utah man pleaded guilty to certain crimes in connection with this DUI-related death as part of a plea bargain. Recently, he was sentenced in accordance with that deal.

Starting at around 10 p.m. on the night of May 18, 2015, the Utah man and his friend began drinking. The 25-year-old man admitted to police that he had approximately 12 beers prior to 5:10 a.m. It was then that he got behind the wheel of a car with his 52-year-old friend riding on the hood.

As he accelerated, his friend fell off the car. Originally, the driver left the scene, but he came back to find his mother standing over the already deceased body of the other man. When police arrived, he told them what happened.

Policed placed him under arrest. He was subsequently charged with second-degree vehicular homicide and third-degree failure to remain at the scene, both of which are felonies. He was also charged with reckless driving and driving under the influence, both of which are Class B misdemeanors.

When he pleaded guilty to the three lesser charges, prosecutors dropped the charge of homicide by vehicle. The judge recently sentenced the man to jail for one year as part of the 36-month probation he was given in exchange for the suspension of a prison term of zero to five years. When the evidence against an individual in a DUI-related death is overwhelming, it might better serve the accused individual's interests to make a deal for sentencing than to risk going to trial and receiving a longer prison term.

Source: sltrib.com, "Utah man gets jail for driving drunk when victim fell from car hood and died", Jan. 7, 2016

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