A Lehi man who killed a father of nine in a 2003 drunken-driving accident was sentenced Thursday in Provo's 4th District Court to the maximum jail term but was granted work release to care for his family and pay restitution.
Trenton Devere Jones, 24, plead guilty to negligent homicide in July for the Feb. 7, 2003, accident that killed Larry Beach of Bluffdale.
Jones was driving drunk on U-73 in Eagle Mountain when his pickup truck drifted across the center line and collided head-on with a car driven by Beach. Jones said he fell asleep at the wheel. Beach died at the scene; Jones was taken to American Fork Hospital, treated, released and then arrested for investigation of automobile homicide and DUI.
Initially, Jones was charged with second-degree felony automobile homicide. He plead guilty to class-A misdemeanor negligent homicide, which carries a maximum fine of $2,500 and a year in the Utah County Jail.
On Thursday, Jones apologized to the victim's family.
"I'm going to live with this for the rest of my life," he said in Judge Lynn Davis' courtroom. "I can't tell you how much I wish I wasn't so lucky (to have survived)."
Davis sentenced Jones to one year in jail, imposed a $1,000 fine and ordered Jones to complete 100 hours of community service.
Beach's wife said she was pleased with the sentence.
She married her late husband 14 years ago, bringing together seven children from previous marriages. The couple also had two children together.
She is now the sole caregiver for her children.