A Cullman County judge has sentenced Bradford Meeks to 12 years in prison. The penalty was imposed on Tuesday, almost four months after a jury returned a guilty verdict on three charges including criminally negligent homicide.
Meeks was convicted in relation to a 2017 crash that took the life of 15-year-old Cullman County High School student Curtis Wilson. The boy’s mother Ashley was also injured in the accident.
The crash occurred near 2045 County Road 222. Meeks was driving a pickup that collided head-on with the car in which Ashley and Curtis were traveling. Meeks waived his right to an in-court presence and instead appeared in a virtual hearing of the court during which he was sentenced.
The 30-year-old will serve a ten-year sentence on the homicide charge as well as 12 months each for assault and driving under the influence. These are the maximum sentences allowed for these offenses under Alabama’s laws and Meeks will serve the prison terms consecutively.
Meeks was given the chance to make a statement before the judge read the sentence but according to court records, he opted not to say anything. He has 42 days to appeal the sentences. Initially, Meeks was charged with reckless murder but the jury found him guilty of the lesser charge.
Reports indicate that Ashley intends to sue Meeks for wrongful death. Unlike some states, Alabama only allows the administrator of the deceased’s estate to get punitive damages in wrongful death actions. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for their action and deter other people from acting similarly.
The amount varies bases on the circumstances of the incident and how egregious the person’s actions were. If you lost a loved one in a crash, seek advice and representation from an Alabama car accident lawyer. Call us today.