Man pleads guilty to negligent homicide, sentenced

Man pleads guilty to negligent homicide, sentenced

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A Mississippi County man was sentenced to nearly a decade in jail after pleading guilty in connection to a fatal accident in 2016.

On Monday, Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington announced that 32-year-old Benny Ray Huddleston pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in Mississippi County Circuit Court in Blytheville.

Huddleston was accused of negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated on Oct. 16, 2016. Ellington states Huddleston crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic and struck 54-year-old Michele Walker, causing her death.

Judge Brent Davis agreed to sentence Huddleston to 8 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction followed by 10 years suspended imposition of sentence.

"I want to thank Deputy Prosecutors Gina Knight and Curtis Walker for their hard work and dedication to justice in this case," Ellington stated in the release. "I also want to commend Arkansas State Police for their fine work investigating this matter. I would also like to remind the citizens of Mississippi County to never drink and drive. The consequences are devastating, and the lives lost to irresponsible decisions can never be replaced."

Attorneys James W. Harris and Zachary W. Morrison offered the following statement on Huddleston's behalf:

Today's guilty plea reflects Benny's acceptance of responsibility. He deeply regrets his actions in this very tragic and unfortunate accident. The decision to plead guilty this morning was his own, and he did what he felt he needed to do to accept responsibility.

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