Possible plea discussed at hearing for D.W.I. murder defendant

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A possible plea bargain was discussed this week at a pretrial hearing for an Ashdown, Ark., man accused of causing two deaths in a drunk driving wreck early this year.

Bowie County Public Defender Deborah Moore told 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart that she and Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp have been talking about disposing of Isiah Williams’ charges through a plea agreement. Williams, 67, allegedly had a blood alcohol of .216, nearly three times the legal limit of .08, when he veered off of Interstate 30 near the 186 mile marker Feb. 2. It was just after 5 p.m. when Williams pickup traveled across a grassy area and a ditch before crossing the south service road and hitting a tree.

Both Williams’ front and rear passengers, Jimmie Gant, 62, of Ashdown and Kathy Brown, 59, of Texarkana, Texas, died of injuries received in the wreck. Williams, who has a long history of drunk driving convictions, is charged with two counts of murder and a charge of felony D.W.I.

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Crisp said she would need to meet with the family members of Gant and Brown before agreeing to a plea bargain. Crisp told Lockhart that the state wants Williams to accept a life sentence while Moore said the defense is hoping for a 25-year term.

“That sounds like a life sentence,” Lockhart said after learning Williams’ age.

Lockhart scheduled Williams to return to court Nov. 6.

Each of the murder charges facing Williams is punishable by five to 99 years or life in prison. Felony driving while intoxicated is punishable by two to ten years in prison. Williams is currently being held in the Bowie County jail. Bail is set at $1 million.

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