Hagler sentenced to year in jail, probation

Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Neal Scott Hagler

By Scott Loftis

CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com

Neal Scott Hagler of Berryville was sentenced Friday to one year in the county jail and 15 years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to felony negligent homicide and four misdemeanor counts in connection with a June 2018 accident that resulted in the death of Destiny Mock of Eagle Rock, Mo.

In a deal with prosecutors, Hagler pleaded guilty to the negligent homicide charge as well as driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license due to DWI, reckless driving and possession of marijuana. Prosecutors dismissed a felony charge of first-degree battery.

Special Judge Gary Arnold of the 22nd Judicial District (Saline County) accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Hagler, 20. According to the plea agreement and order, Hagler was sentenced to 15 years’ probation on the negligent homicide charge, 365 days in the Carroll County Detention Center for possession of marijuana and 90 days each for driving on a suspended license and reckless driving. Arnold ordered that the sentences be served concurrently and that Hagler be given credit for 181 days served in the county jail.

Arnold also ordered Hagler to pay a total of $1,545 in fines, fees and court costs.

Mock, 20, died on June 24, 2018, at Cox Medical Center South in Springfield, Mo. — two days after the accident that occurred on the night of June 22, 2018, on Carroll County Road 428.

According to a preliminary fatal crash summary from the Arkansas State Police, Hagler was driving a 2011 Chevrolet westbound on Carroll County Road 428 at 9:50 p.m. when he failed to stop at the intersection of County Road 404 and struck a tree.

A Carroll County Sheriff’s Office affidavit says Hagler initially told deputies at the scene that the truck’s brakes failed. Hagler was arrested after a deputy noticed the odor of intoxicants and he failed a field sobriety test, according to the affidavit.

The CCSO affidavit says Mock spoke with first responders at the scene but was trapped inside the truck. Berryville Fire Department personnel cut the vehicle open to free Mock, according to the affidavit, and she was able to give her name and date of birth to a deputy before being transported to a hospital.

Handcuffed and shackled at the waist, Hagler was escorted into the courtroom of the Carroll County Eastern District Courthouse in Berryville shortly before Friday’s hearing was scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, he sat in the jury box, staring straight ahead and rocking slightly back and forth.

The hearing was delayed approximately 30 minutes because Arnold was late arriving from his home in Benton. Once Arnold arrived, Hagler left the jury box and stood to the left of defense attorney Chris Flanagin. He answered Arnold’s questions in a clear voice, indicating that he understood the plea agreement.

Asked by Arnold to describe what happened, Hagler said: “I was speeding. I had a wreck and caused the death of Destiny Mock. I had marijuana in the vehicle and I had no driver’s license.”

Arnold asked Hagler if he was under the influence at the time of the accident and Hagler replied that he was under the influence of alcohol.

After the sentencing, Flanagin said Hagler would like to make a statement. He turned to face Mock’s family members in the courtroom, saying “I just want to say that I’m very sorry, sorry for your loss.”

The hearing concluded with Arnold remanding Hagler back into the custody of the sheriff’s office to be returned to the county jail for the remainder of his one-year sentence.

Hagler’s mother, Sandy, angrily confronted a reporter outside the courtroom to complain about coverage of the case.

Several of Mock’s relatives attended the hearing.

“We’re saddened by the loss of life and the carelessness — and the lack of due punishment,” Rhonda Mock, who identified herself as Destiny Mock’s great-aunt, said after the hearing.

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