Claremore Man Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter after Causing a Collision that Killed a Woman
A Claremore man pleaded guilty today in federal court for driving recklessly and under the influence of alcohol when he caused an accident that killed a passenger in his vehicle, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Billy Shane Hemphill, 48, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
“Billy Hemphill’s series of irresponsible choices resulted in a collision that took one life and injured two others,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “The victim’s family and friends have endured a tremendous loss because of Hemphill’s criminal actions. Today, he has been held responsible for his conduct.”
In a blind plea, Hemphill admitted that on Aug. 11, 2019, he was driving recklessly while impaired and caused an accident that took the life a passenger.
The accident occurred at 11:30 pm on South 4210 Road, just south of 410 Road. The investigation revealed that Hemphill was traveling north at a high rate of speed when the passenger side of the vehicle veered off the road into a steep ditch. Hemphill eventually crashed into three trees, and the pick-up came to a rest. Witnesses stated that Hemphill was drinking alcohol and driving recklessly before the accident. First responders observed beer cans at the scene and noted the defendant smelled of alcohol. The passenger died at the scene. Hemphill and two other passenger were transported to hospitals in Tulsa and Claremore.
Hemphill will be sentenced on Jan. 20, 2022.
The FBI, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation. The Foyil Fire Department was the first to responded to the scene of the accident. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey P. Todd prosecuted the case.