Man sentenced to two years in state jail in fatal 2015 crash


A Texarkana man was sentenced to two years in a Texas state jail this week in connection with a fiery crash in 2015 that left an Atlanta, Texas, man dead.

Billy Ray Howard Jr., 45, was sentenced to a maximum two-year state jail sentence by 102nd District Judge Jeff Addison for criminally negligent homicide in the Nov. 1, 2015, death of Robert Clemenson. Clemenson, 52, was traveling north in a tanker truck on US-59 when Howard pulled out in front of him, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety fatal crash report.

According to Howard’s indictment, he failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign and was using his cell phone at the time of the crash.

Howard suffered “incapacitating injuries” and was treated at a hospital.

Howard’s sentence was the result of a plea bargain.

Assistant District Attorney Randle Smolarz said the case was “litigated civilly” and that attempts to reach Clemenson’s family before the plea were made.

Howard’s conviction for state jail felony criminally negligent homicide is not his first felony conviction. Court records show he has prior convictions for sexual assault of a child in Bowie County in 2002 and for failure to register as a sex offender in 2009.

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