Deputy's son pleads guilty to negligent homicide
The son of a Smith County Sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty to charges of criminally negligent homicide and causing an accident involving serious bodily injury or death on Monday in the 7th District Court.
Jared Tyrell Stinecipher, 26, will be sentenced on Dec. 7 by Judge Kerry Russell for colliding with Arthur Dewayne Murphy, 50, who died of his injuries.
The accident happened in December 2011. Stinecipher was driving a 2000 Dodge Ram, and Murphy was driving eastbound in a 1992 Honda Accord when Stinecipher's vehicle hit Murphy at the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 2767, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety report.
Stinecipher left the scene and fled into the woods, touching off an hours-long manhunt, the DPS report stated. Murphy was taken to East Texas Medical Center, where he later died from injuries he suffered in the crash.
Stinecipher was arrested multiple times in 2011 on drug and other charges, according to the Smith County judicial website. Russell said in court that the plea Stinecipher entered was an open plea and that there had been no agreement with prosecutors in advance.
Smith County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Bobby Garmon said in December that Lt. Mark Stinecipher called him and said Jared Stinecipher showed up at his house and was injured.
"We also received information that his son might have been the one driving the vehicle in the crash," Garmon said.
The elder Stinecipher took his son to the hospital, and Jared Stinecipher was taken to the Henderson County Jail afterward. The younger Stinecipher has been held in the Smith County Jail without bond since June.
The charge of criminally negligent homicide is a state jail felony and carries a 6-month to two-year punishment range, and the criminally negligent homicide charge is a third-degree felony carries a punishment range of two to 10 years in prison, Russell said on Monday.