No verdict yet in triple DWI fatality

By Sara Story - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas jury, deciding the fate of a man charged with three counts of intoxication manslaughter, is divided tonight. The judge sent the jury home when a unanimous verdict could not be reached in the case of Wesley Robert Jones. Nearly two years ago, Jones was allegedly driving in the wrong lane on Highway 31 when he crashed into a vehicle, killing three men.

Jones sat patiently as attorneys rested their case. The 49-year-old has been charged with three counts of intoxication manslaughter. One of those men was Jamie Lee Watkins, whose family waited in the courtroom for justice. "All I want is an apology. That's it. We can't bring him back. All I want is an apology, but he's acting like he did nothing wrong," said Sherea Clay, the mother of Watkins's children.

Prosecutors are seeking more than an apology for what happened in October 2008. If found guilty, Jones faces 25 years to life in prison.

"Was the defendants actions clearly sufficient to cause the death? But for his action, would we be here today? The answer is no," said the prosecutor in the case.

Clifton "Scrappy" Holmes is Jones's defense attorney. He argued that Jones was not the only one liable for the accident. "[The victims were] familiar with the county line, familiar with those joints that are up and down those streets, familiar with what goes on there, familiar with the dangerous nature of that highway at closing time," said Holmes.

Until a final verdict is reached, family and friends are left with the memory of the loved ones they lost on that fatal night. "It is really hurting me because I have four kids that I have to raise by myself, and they come to me asking about their father, and it's hard for me to explain because they are so young," said Clay.

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