Putnam man convicted on DUI charges
WINFIELD, W.Va. -- A jury found a Red House man guilty of misdemeanor DUI causing death and aggravated DUI on Thursday, according to prosecutors.
Caleb Beckner, 24, had been drinking when he took a turn too fast and crashed, killing his passenger, Heather Brooks, 22, of Poca.
Jurors, who deliberated for about five hours, chose the misdemeanor charge over the felony offense of DUI causing death, according to assistant prosecutor Kristina Raynes.
"[Brooks'] mother was pretty devastated, but she was satisfied that they did convict him and hold him responsible for killing her daughter. She felt it was felony conduct, as did I, but I respect the jury's decision," Raynes said.
According to police, Beckner had a blood-alcohol content of 0.166, more than double the legal limit of 0.08 in West Virginia, about an hour after the wreck.
For the misdemeanor charges, Beckner faces up to one year in prison for DUI causing death charge, and up to six months for aggravated DUI, Raynes said.
In 2009, Beckner was sentenced to 2 to 15 years in Putnam Circuit Court after pleading guilty to grand larceny and conspiracy to commit breaking and entering. Raynes said he was on parole at the time of the wreck.