A Hot Springs man has pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the death of a passenger who was in his pickup in 2016 while he was driving while intoxicated and wrecked, the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record reported.
Austin Tilmon Meeks, 22, who was set to stand trial July 11, appeared in Garland County Circuit Court on Monday to enter the plea to the felony charge. He was then sentenced to six years' supervised probation and ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution to the family of the victim.
Meeks was arrested Sept. 20, 2016, after an Arkansas State Police investigation into the April 10, 2016, one-vehicle wreck on Arkansas 192 north of Mountain Pine in which 22-year-old Dayton K. Garner was killed.
According to the affidavit, a trooper responded shortly after 12:15 a.m. to the wreck, which involved a westbound 2008 Chevrolet pickup that ran off the highway in a curve. The vehicle hit trees, ejecting both Meeks and Garner.
Garner died at the scene. A fatality report noted the roadway was wet.
A blood sample showed Meeks' blood alcohol content to be 0.11 percent, more than the legal limit of 0.08 percent, authorities said.