Man indicted on manslaughter charge in boating death of Tyler teen

Man indicted on manslaughter charge in boating death of Tyler teen
Hampton was arrested in connection with a fatal boating hit and run incident that killed a 14-year-old boy on Lake Palestine Sunday. (Source: Smith County Jail.)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Jeffrey Joe Hampton, 31, of Tyler has been indicted on two felony charges for the death of a Tyler teenager on Lake Palestine, according to online judicial records.

Hampton is charged with manslaughter and a charge of boating accident involving death or serious bodily injury.

A jury trial is scheduled for December 2.

Fourteen-year-old Roberto Carlos Bermejo Hernandez, a Tyler ISD student, died June 2 after he was struck by a “red and black bass boat” while playing in the water at Lakeway Harbor with friends and family.

Roberto "Carlos" Hernandez, 14, died Sunday in a crash involving a boat. (Source: Courtesy of the Hernandez family)
Roberto "Carlos" Hernandez, 14, died Sunday in a crash involving a boat. (Source: Courtesy of the Hernandez family) (Source: KLTV)

The suspect fled the scene, leading law enforcement to sweep the area and use social media to find the boat’s driver.

Tips led investigators with Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, and Bullard police to a boat in Flint matching the description of the one that struck Hernandez.

There, Hampton was taken into custody on a warrant for manslaughter.

Previous stories: Teen killed in Lake Palestine boating hit and run; authorities searching for suspect

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