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story.lead_photo.caption Michael Guest

BENTONVILLE -- A Siloam Springs man was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated in a crash which resulted in his stepson's death.

Michael Guest, 39, pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a minor and driving while intoxicated. The plea was under an agreement Mark Lucas, Guest's attorney, reached with Bryan Sexton, deputy prosecutor.

The Siloam Springs police and fire departments responded to a traffic accident at U.S. 412 and East Main Street around 10 p.m. on Jan. 3, 2019 according to court documents. The emergency responders found an overturned and submerged pickup in a pond and fountain area, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The responders found Guest, the boy's stepfather, outside of the pickup, and bystanders told officers a child was still inside, according to the affidavit. Guest was in the water crying hysterically, but not attempting to remove his stepson from the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Members of the fire and police departments entered the water, turned the pickup on its side and removed the boy, according to court documents.

Tyler Levi Hammett, 11, was taken to Siloam Springs Regional Hospital and later to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Okla., where he died, according to the affidavit.

Guest was also taken to the Siloam Springs hospital, according to the affidavit. Sgt. Jed White with the Siloam Springs Police Department was at the scene and smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from Guest, White reported. White also overheard Guest telling a nurse he had drunk three or four alcoholic beverages, according to the affidavit.

Police say an investigation of the crash shows the vehicle didn't attempt to slow down before crashing into the pond's cinder blocks, according to the affidavit.

Police also did a portable breath test on Guest three hours after the collision, and it showed his blood alcohol content was 0.06, according to the affidavit.

Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karen accepted the plea agreement and Guest's guilty plea.

Guest was sentenced to seven years in the Arkansas Department of Correction. He must abide by a suspended sentence agreement for 12 years after his release from prison.

NW News on 02/12/2020

Print Headline: Man sentenced to 7 years in prison for DWI crash

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