State and defense rest in fatal drunk driving trial

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Both the prosecution and defense rested their cases Wednesday in the sentencing trial of a man who caused a fatal crash last year while driving drunk.

Kendrick Lamar Sauls, 22, pleaded guilty in April to intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault in connection with a May 1, 2020, crash in Texarkana, Texas. Sauls asked that a jury decide his punishment.

Sauls is facing 2 to 20 years in prison for intoxication manslaughter in the death of Mario Haynes. Haynes, 31, was riding as a passenger in a Hyundai Santa Fe being driven by Candy Trammell, 29. Haynes was transported to a hospital in Little Rock where he died of his injuries. Trammell suffered serious injuries in the crash as well.

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In opening statements in Sauls’ sentencing trial, Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter and Sauls’ defense attorney, Butch Dunbar of Texarkana, told the jury that Sauls had a blood alcohol level of .149 and was driving more than 70 miles an hour when he ran a red light at the intersection of Summerhill Road and New Boston Road on the night of May 1, 2020.

Drivers are considered intoxicated if their blood alcohol level is .08 or above. The speed limit on Summerhill is 40 miles per hour.

Carter told the jury the prosecution will be seeking a prison sentence. Dunbar said he will ask the jury to sentence Sauls to probation.

Sauls has been in the Bowie County jail since his arrest May 1, 2020.

The jury is schheduled to hear closing arguments Thursday morning before beginning deliberations on what sentence Sauls should receive.

Fifth District Judge Bill Miller is presiding over the trial.

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