Affidavit: Driver had been drinking before fatal crash

Affidavit: Driver had been drinking before fatal crash

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - A Charlotte man is charged with negligent homicide following a crash last month that claimed the life of a Jonesboro man.

According to court documents, 23-year-old Brandon Bishop was intoxicated on the evening of June 21 when he lost control of his pickup truck on Coon Creek Lane and struck a ditch line.

Johnathan Easley, 24, of Jonesboro was riding in the pickup bed and was thrown from the vehicle. He died in the crash.

Cambron Owens, 23, of Jonesboro was another passenger in the truck. He told investigators before the crash “they had been at B Rock for approximately 1-2 hours swimming and drinking.”

Owens told police he drank approximately 4 beers and 3 shots of whiskey. He said he did not know how much the others had been drinking, but Owens said the other two men had been drinking.

According to the affidavit, officers found several unopened beer cans and a cooler near Easley’s body.

Owens, who was in the passenger seat and wearing a seat belt, reportedly told deputies that Bishop “was driving way too fast” before they hit a pothole and Bishop lost control of the truck.

The court documents stated that an Arkansas State Crime Lab test of Bishop’s blood at the time of the crash showed an ethanol level of .14 percent. The legal limit is .08 percent.

During their investigation, detectives learned that Bishop had two prior careless or prohibited driving charges, and was required to have an ignition interlock device on his vehicle.

“The vehicle he was driving during this accident was not equipped with an ignition interlock device,” the affidavit stated.

On July 27, a judge found probable cause to charge Bishop with negligent homicide, driving while intoxicated, violation of an ignition interlock device, driving while driver’s license suspended, no proof of liability insurance, and careless or prohibited driving.

The judge issued a warrant for Bishop’s arrest and set his bond at $25,000.

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