Wyoming man pleads guilty in automobile homicide near Saltair
A 28-year-old Wyoming man pleaded guilty Monday to driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he crashed his car, causing the death of his 22-year-old passenger.
In a deal with prosecutors, Jacob C. Jensen pleaded guilty to third-degree felony automobile homicide by driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and faces up to five years in Utah State Prison. Prosecutors dropped two misdemeanor charges in exchange for Jensen's plea.
Jensen will be sentenced in 3rd District Court in September for his role in the December death of 22-year-old Joshua J. Wallace, who had been riding in Jensen's car as the two left a concert.
According to charging documents, Jensen was driving south on State Road 202 about 11:45 p.m. on Dec. 2, near Saltair, when he lost control of his Jeep Grand Cherokee rounding a turn near the intersection of State Road 201, Utah Highway Patrol troopers said after the accident.
The SUV swerved into the northbound lanes, rolled and partially ejected Wallace from the back of the vehicle, troopers said. Wallace was pronounced dead at the scene.
Jensen, of Boulder, Wyo., allegedly told investigators he and Wallace had been at a concert, during which he consumed four or five beers and had been smoking marijuana "all day," according to charging documents.
State troopers smelled a strong scent of alcohol on Jensen at the time of his arrest, documents state, and later found a quarter pound of marijuana in the SUV, which Jensen claimed was his.
Jensen, who appeared in court Monday in shackles, has been in custody since the time of the accident in lieu of $250,000 bond.