A circuit judge is allowing a man accused of manslaughter to remain free on bond under the condition he seek treatment at an in-patient rehab facility.
Andrew Landon McKnight, 26, of Conway is accused of manslaughter, second-degree battery, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage, first-degree reckless driving and first-degree criminal mischief following a February crash that left one man dead and another woman injured.
McKnight appeared alongside one of his attorneys, Lauren Elenbaas, in Faulkner County Circuit Court on Tuesday for a bond revocation hearing before Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson Jr. after allegedly failing to appear in court in late June.
Elenbaas argued on McKnight's behalf, noting the defendant was being treated at a veterans affairs rehabilitation center when he reportedly did not show for court.
The defense pleaded with the judge not to revoke McKnight's bond, stating jail would not provide the proper treatment he would be able to receive at a rehab center.
Deputy Prosecutor Taylor Martin said he preferred McKnight be held in the county jail without bond.
"I would ask for no bond or [that he be required to stay] inside an in-patient treatment [center]," Martin said Tuesday morning. "This is a very serious charge involving substance abuse in which someone's life was taken."
Clawson ultimately ruled in the defense's favor, stating he would allow the defendant to seek treatment and remain free on his current bond under the condition McKnight admits himself into an in-house treatment facility.
"Prosecutor, I know that's not what you asked me to do, but I'm going to allow him the chance to seek treatment," Clawson said after hearing arguments from both parties.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the 26-year-old Conway man was driving a Chevrolet Silverado when he crossed over the center line on East German Lane and struck a Chevrolet Tracker driven by 81-year-old Louis Gray head on.
Paramedics took Gray to Conway Regional Medical Center immediately following the Feb. 13 crash, where he was later transferred to the University of Arkansas for Medical Services in Little Rock. Gray succumbed to injuries sustained in the gash following a spinal surgery on Feb. 28 and was pronounced dead March 10.
McKnight was initially charged with second-degree battery, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage, reckless driving and criminal mischief following the crash. However, after Gray died from injuries sustained in the crash, prosecutors sought to upgrade charges against McKnight.
McKnight, who has pleaded not guilty to the aforementioned charges, is scheduled to appear next at 9 a.m. Sept. 24 in circuit court for a pretrial hearing.