Supreme Court Upholds Mississippi County Conviction in Highway Death

JUNE 2, 2006 - Posted at 7:25 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Supreme Court says the state Appeals Court should not have rejected the conviction of a garbage truck driver blamed for a 2003 wreck that killed a man.  The state's highest court yesterday reversed an earlier ruling by the appeals court that had thrown out the conviction of Charles Utley in Mississippi County.

Utley was convicted of misdemeanor negligent homicide, sentenced to a year in the Mississippi County jail and fined $10,000 for the wreck on U.S. Highway 61 near Blytheville.  Thursday's ruling said Utley was driving a loaded garbage truck in the southbound lane when he crossed the center line and struck a pick-up truck driven by W.R. Perdue.  The pick-up exploded upon impact and Perdue was killed.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)