A 28-year-old North Little Rock man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleaded guilty to negligent homicide on Wednesday.
"It's my understanding here to change your plea from not guilty to guilty," Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson Jr. said as Jacob Tanner Creasey stood at the podium before him Wednesday morning.
"Yes sir," Creasey, who was accompanied by his attorney, William Watt, said.
Creasey said he went out with some friends to Taylor's Made Cafe on the night in question, noting he had some alcoholic drinks while at Taylor's Made.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from a Conway resident who lives on Round Mountain Road regarding a motorcycle wreck in front of her home shortly after 9:30 p.m. Nov. 6, 2016.
Court records show the initial call came in around 9:36 p.m. Nov. 6, 2016, from the Round Mountain address, which is a rural area located outside of Conway city limits. First responders arrived on scene by 9:49 p.m. and deputies arrived at 9:51 p.m. to find the driver of the motorcycle, Jacob Tanner Creasey, “had lacerations to his head and was bleeding from his pelvic area.”
Creasey said he swerved to avoid hitting a dog moments before he crashed with Megan Dane riding on the back of his bike.
"A dog ran out and I swerved and hit a culvert," he said through tears while recalling the events of the night in question. "We went into the grass ... and my friend Megan didn't make it."
Creasey reached a negotiated plea deal with prosecutors and was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for negligent homicide followed by a three-year suspended sentence. He also pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, which carried a one-year sentence set to run concurrently with the 10-year sentence.
"This case provides a tragic example of the dangers of drunk driving," 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Luke Ferguson said following Creasey's plea entry. "With an alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit, the defendant clearly had no regard for the passenger on his motorcycle. Tragically, this resulted in the loss of human life."
When asked how much he'd had to drink, Creasey told first responders on scene he'd had "quite a bit." Authorities later determined his blood alcohol level was 0.193.
Ferguson said the prison sentence was necessary, because a woman died from injuries sustained in the November 2016 crash.
"I believe the 10-year prison sentence is necessary," he said. "I doubt the punishment provides comfort to the victim's family, but it's appropriate to hold the defendant accountable and hopefully deter other potential drunk drivers from making such poor decisions. I thank the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office and Deputy Prosecutor Jordan Crews for their work on investigating and prosecuting this important case."
The affidavit noted Creasey was uncooperative as paramedics worked the scene.
″[A deputy] reported that Jacob Creasey was aggressively interfering with the flight medics as that were preparing Megan Dane for the flight to the trauma center,” the affidavit reads, noting Creasey “was uncooperative with the ambulance crew that was trying to help him.”
Family members cried as a bailiff cuffed Creasey after Judge Clawson accepted his guilty plea.