Plea deal results in 27-year sentence in fatal DWI accident

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A Berryville man pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and other charges Friday and was sentenced to 27 years in prison for a drunk-driving accident in October 2017 that left a 15-year-old boy dead.

Layne Jared Utley of Berryville was killed in the accident on Oct. 28, 2017 on U.S. Highway 62 east of the city limits.

Salvador Ezesarte-Cervantes, now 36, was arrested after the accident. According to a report from Arkansas State Police Trooper Ronnie L. Boyd, Cervantes was driving a 2005 Dodge van westbound on U.S. 62 a half-mile east of Berryville at 10:35 p.m. on a Saturday night when it crossed the center line and struck an eastbound 2002 Mercury driven by KC Parker, 18, of Alpena.

According to Boydís report, both drivers were injured in the accident, as well as Hailey Anglin, 19, of Alpena, a passenger in Parkerís car. Three other passengers in Parkerís car also were listed as injured, although they were not identified because they were minors. They are listed as a 17-year-old male from Berryville and 13- and 17-year-old females from Alpena.

In addition to the negligent homicide charge, Cervantes also pleaded guilty to felony counts of battery, aggravated assault and leaving the scene of an accident with death or injury, along with misdemeanor counts of battery, driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. He also pleased guilty to a traffic charge for driving left of center.

Carroll County Circuit Judge Scott Jackson accepted Cervantesí plea during a hearing at the Eastern District Courthouse in Berryville. Jackson also ordered Cervantes to pay a total of $1,470 in court costs, fines and restitution. Cervantes will be given credit for 383 days served in the county jail before he was sentenced.

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