Teen faces manslaughter charge

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, April 14, 2018

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A Decatur teenager has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a fatal wreck in the city two weeks ago.

Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said the 16-year-old male, who was not identified because he is a minor, turned himself in to police Thursday afternoon. After an arrest report was made, the juvenile was released back into the custody of his parents.

The teen was driving a Volvo SUV westbound on Hale Street around lunch time March 28 and ran the stop sign at the intersection of Trinity Street, striking a Toyota passenger car driven by 74-year-old Billy Wade McRae of Bridgeport. McRae died at the scene

McRae’s wife, Rhonda, was a passenger in the car and was seriously injured in the crash. The 61-year-old was taken by ground ambulance to Medical City Denton where she remains in stable condition.

In addition to running the stop sign, the teen driver was going “way above” the speed limit, according to Hoskins. The police department is still waiting on a report from the Texas Department of Public Safety to determine the exact speed.

The chief said manslaughter was the appropriate charge due to the reckless nature of the act.

“Manslaughter is defined as you recklessly cause the death of another, and we felt what he did was reckless because not only did he run the stop sign, but he was traveling over the speed limit,” Hoskins said.

Blood tests have shown the teen did not have any alcohol in his system at the time of the wreck. The office is still waiting on drug results.

The case is expected to be given to the juvenile probation department next week. That department will make a recommendation to the district attorney’s office as to punishment.

“The young man and the family have cooperated thoroughly with us in regards to the investigation so far,” Hoskins said. “They’ve done everything we’ve asked them.”

Officers have also determined the teen had a second juvenile passenger in the car at the time of the wreck instead of one as was initially reported.

McRae’s funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

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