Intoxicated Utah Boat Driver Arrested for Automobile Homicide

An intoxicated Utah boat driver was arrested for automobile homicide for allegedly causing the death of one of his passengers while boating in Flaming Gorge over Mother’s Day weekend.

Drinking and sailing

Photo by: Ozzy Delaney

25 year old Corey Eggleston of Vernal, Utah was arrested for automobile homicide and DUI charges after one of his passengers fell from the boat and drowned. Eggleston admitted had been drinking alcohol while operating the boat at Flaming Gorge Reservoir Saturday when he made a maneuver that caused the boat to start taking on water. That maneuver resulted in multiple passengers of Eggleston’s boat to fall into the water. None of the passengers were wearing life vests and one male passenger was pronounced dead after being pulled from the water.

Automobile homicide

Eggleston was booked into Uintah County Jail on DUI charges as well as automobile homicide. Utah Code 76-5-207 states: “Criminal homicide is automobile homicide, a third degree felony, if the person operates a motor vehicle in a negligent manner causing the death of another and:
(i) has sufficient alcohol in his body . . . of .05 grams or greater at the time of the test;
(ii) is under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or the combined influence of alcohol and any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle [or boat]; or
(iii) has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .05 grams or greater at the time of operation.”
If the person was found to behaving in a criminally negligent manner when they caused the death of another, the charges would be increased to a second degree felony.

Negligence when boating

Section 76-5-207 goes on to explains that “. . . negligent means simple negligence, the failure to exercise that degree of care that reasonable and prudent persons exercise under like or similar circumstances.”Criminal negligence on the other hand is defined by 76-2-103 as “. . . when [the actor] ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise in all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.”

Mistake or “gross deviation” of care

Although Eggleston likely didn’t intent to cause the death of his passenger, drinking while operating the boat was considered a negligent act and could have been prevented by choosing sobriety while boating instead. No details have been released stating how much Eggleston had been drinking or whether or not, prior to the incident, he was behaving in a manner that would show a disregard for the safety of others (other than his consuming alcohol.) Anyone facing charges for negligently causing the death or another is encouraged to seek the help of a qualified attorney to ensure intent and level of negligence is honestly portrayed during court proceedings.

Theft Charges for Buyer and Seller of Stolen Vehicle in Utah

Both the buyer and the seller of a a vehicle were arrested on theft charges when the actual owner returned to Utah to collect his automobile.

Fix and sell

An employee of a Big ’O Tires shop in Price, Utah was arrested for second-degree theft after he sold a 2008 Hummer that had been left at the shop by a customer. The customer who was passing through Utah earlier this year stopped at the tire store when his vehicle started having mechanical problems. The customer took longer than usual to return for his vehicle but when he did, the Hummer was nowhere to be found. Police were able to determine that the vehicle had been fixed and then resold to another person.

From one Travis to another

28 year old Travis Loveland was working at the Big ‘O Tires when 33 year old Travis Jordan came in to purchase tires for his vehicle. For reasons unknown other than a small financial gain, Loveland approached the customer and offered him the 2008 Hummer for an easy one grand. Although the $1,000 deal for the Hummer seemed too good to be true, Jordan accepted the deal with Loveland and later returned to complete the transaction. It wasn’t until several months later when police knocked on his door that Jordan realized why he received such a screaming deal: the Hummer was technically stolen.

Second-degree felony theft

Loveland was booked in the Carbon County Jail on second-degree felony theft for selling a stolen vehicle while Jordan is also facing second-degree felony theft charges for receiving stolen property. Utah Code 76-6-412 states “Theft of property and services . . . is punishable as a second degree felony if the:
(i) Value of the property or services is or exceeds $5,000;
(ii) Property stolen is a firearm or an operable motor vehicle; or
(iii) Property is stolen from the person of another.”

Be wary of suspicious sales

There are many instances when someone unknowingly gets in trouble for being on the receiving end of deal involving stolen property. Even if they know they are innocent, a court of law may not see it that way. This is why it is imperative that anyone facing charges consults with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney prior to their initial hearing.

Estranged Ex Arrested for Vehicle Arson in Utah

The estranged ex of a Kearns, Utah resident was arrested for vehicle arson after going to her ex-boyfriend’s house and lighting two vehicles on fire.

Late-night bonfire

Photo by: Michael Pardo

The residents of a Kearns household awakened Thursday to find two of their vehicles and part of the garage on fire. An accelerant, most likely gasoline, had been poured onto a vehicle in the driveway and another on the street before being lit on fire. Both vehicles suffered several thousand dollars in damage and the garage near one vehicle suffered severe damage as well. Multiple neighbors turned in camera footage where a female was seen committing the vehicle arson before getting into her own car and taking off.

The one that got away

The camera footage collected from neighbors showed 27 year old Jessica Halee Wright, the ex-girlfriend to one of the residents of the home, as the sole suspect in the vehicle arson case. No reasoning was given as to why she set the cars on fire. Since both vehicles were not occupied at the time of the torching, she more than likely didn’t mean to cause any physical harm to anyone. She possibly started the fires out of anger toward her ex or his family who also occupied the home. It isn’t know how long ago the relationship with Wright and the resident ended, but one can assume they were not on good terms.

Photo by: Kate Ter Haar

Vehicle arson

Wright was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for arson. The charges for arson depend on the monetary value of the item burned and whether or not the property was a residence or an occupied vehicle or outbuilding. Since no one was inside the vehicles when Wright lit them on fire, and she will be facing arson and not aggravated arson charges. According to Utah Code 76-6-102, “A person is guilty of arson if . . . the person by means of fire or explosives unlawfully and intentionally damages . . . the property of another.” Since the damage to the vehicles and garage were greater than $5,000, Wright is facing second degree charges for vehicle arson.

Counselor before an attorney

Anyone facing a nasty breakup is encouraged to seek counseling to work through anger or betrayal issues before letting their issues turn into hostility and criminal activity. Those already facing trouble for their erroneous way of handling a soured relationship should seek legal counsel from a trusted attorney.