Almost a year after wrecking a car that resulted in the death of four fellow teenagers in Wise County last summer, Danny R. Nalley, 18, of Fort Worth, was arrested last Thursday and charged with four counts of criminally negligent homicide.
Nalley, the driver, was the only survivor in his vehicle after his silver Mustang collided head-on with a pickup truck at 3 a.m. Saturday, July 23, on Farm Road 730 near the intersection of County Road 2445 several miles north of Decatur.
Nalley was passing in a no-passing lane and speeding, according to the indictment, when he struck a northbound pickup driven by Richard G. Rand, 30, of Burleson. The Mustang crumpled beneath the pickup. Rand suffered only minor injuries.
Nalley was passing a carload of friends after they all left a late-night party in the LBJ National Grasslands.
Those killed in the wreck included Kevin Brickey, 19, of Blue Mound, Vincent Williams, 19, of Wakefield, Mass., Vincent Lagrassa, 19, of Fort Worth, and John D. Rangel, 16, of Highlands. On May 30, a Wise County grand jury indicted Nalley on a count of criminally negligent homicide, a state jail felony, for each of the passengers killed.
Nalley also was seriously injured in the wreck. He was unresponsive at the scene and was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. He didn’t wake up for four days and has been left crippled from the crash.
Alcohol was found on the scene. A blood test released last September found Nalley’s blood alcohol content 0.03, well below the legal limit of 0.08.
A toxicology report did show the presence of central nervous system (CNS) depressants in Nalley’s system. CNS depressants cover a wide range of substances that include alcohol and pharmaceuticals that treat anxiety, insomnia and pain.
Department of Public Safety Trooper William Cooper said waiting on the results of that report is what took so long for charges to be filed in this case.
“It took about 10 months before we got those results back from Austin,” he said.
Based on those results, Cooper said he initially filed intoxicated manslaughter, a second-degree felony, against Nalley. But the district attorney’s office chose to charge Nalley with criminally negligent homicide, a state jail felony, instead.
“The lab results we received did not indicate intoxication,” said District Attorney Greg Lowery. “It showed he was below the legal limit.”
A state jail felony carries a possible sentence of six months to two years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. A second-degree felony carries a sentence of two to 20 years.
Criminal negligence is defined as a “gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances viewed from the actor’s standpoint.”
OTHER MAY 30 GRAND JURY INDICTMENTS INCLUDE:
Vincent Grant Leonard Jr., driving while intoxicated third or more
Michael Thomas Lee, unauthorized use of a vehicle
Shirley Ann Stipes, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, 4-200 grams
John David Hesteande, theft of materials aluminum/bronze,/copper/brass less than $20,000
Sherri Lucinda Henderson, theft of property $20,000-$100,000
Kathryn Marie Hayden, burglary of a habitation
Colby Dale Foust, unauthorized use of vehicle
Ronnie D. Thompson, prohibited weapon
Joshua Lawrence Reardon, possession of a controlled substance – methyl-alph-pyrrolidinylpropiophenone
Ronald Lynn Marlett, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon
Traci Renae Brown, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, 4-200 grams
Steven Clay Seymore, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, 4-200 grams
Wesley Ryan Arrington, possession of a controlled substance – cocaine, less than 1 gram
Michael Dustin Schultz, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; aggravated assault causes serious bodily injury
William Mark Sullivan, sex offenders duty to register with previous conviction
Ricky Dale Jones Jr., possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, 4-200 grams
Kenneth Glenn Atchison, theft of material aluminum/bronze/copper/brass less than $20,000
James Anthony Fulwider, theft of property $1,500-$20,000
Laurie Ann Shorty, burglary of a building
Michael Lee White, driving while intoxicated third or more
Jesus Ariel Rivera, driving while intoxicated third or more
Benjamin Blain Rhodes, burglary of a habitation
Robert Jeremy Phillips, driving while intoxicated with child under 15
Rodney Eugene Perlow, theft of material aluminum/bronze/copper/brass less than $20,000