A Yakima man who admitted being high on drugs when his truck smashed into a car stopped on a highway shoulder, killing a Franklin County jail sergeant and his wife, could spend less than eight years in prison.
Brent A. Owens, 40, pleaded guilty last week in Yakima County Superior Court to two counts of vehicular homicide. Sentencing is set for Sept. 28.
Court documents show that prosecutors, as part of a plea deal, are recommending that Owens spend 90 months — 7½ years — in prison, to be served concurrently with a similar sentence for paying a teen to have sex with him.
Sentencing guidelines called for Owens to be sentenced to a range from 10 to 13 years, based on the crime and his prior criminal record.
In court documents, prosecutors noted that the recommended sentence did not line up with guidelines but said it was part of a plea agreement and “in recognition that a conviction under the DUI prong was not assured.”
A probable cause statement said the toxicology report on Owens indicated the presence of alprazolam - commonly marketed as Xanax, as well as codeine, morphine and methamphetamine. The document did not say how much of each drug was detected.
Deputy Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Julia Davis said she could not elaborate further on the sentencing decision before the hearing due to legal ethics. She also noted that it was a recommendation, which a judge can follow or disregard.
Owens was not seriously injured in the Oct. 23 crash along Interstate 82, 2 miles east of Union Gap.
JoAn and Leonard “Len” Shure died at the scene.
Len Shure, 66, had been a longtime employee at the jail. JoAn Shure, 71, worked at Hanford as a radiation monitor, was co-founder of a nonprofit and was an ordained minister. The Shures had been married for 40 years.