Man accused of driving drunk prior to fatal crash sentenced

Medford, Ore. — A Central Point man will spend the next 6 years in prison for driving drunk behind the wheel of a car that crashed–killing his brother-in-law and injuring his friend.

Zach Spencer, a passenger in the 2015 crash addressed the judge this Thursday morning. He said his friend, Christopher Williams, is not a criminal.

Williams pleaded guilty to DUII, and entered an “Alford plea” to manslaughter.

An “Alford plea” is essentially a guilty plea without making an admission of guilt, but recognizing there’s enough evidence for a conviction.

The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office calls the case tragic. “Drinking and driving is absolutely a terrible choice, and the fact of the matter is you look at our numbers that we get in court, DUIs are a huge proportion of our cases. Folks just don’t understand the gravity they don’t understand how fast you can go from having a good time, to someone you love being dead,” said Deputy D.A. Nick Geil.

Dustin Yax was not wearing a seatbelt when he was ejected and killed in the crash.

Williams was sentenced to 75 months in prison and will lose his license permanently. He did not address the court but his attorney says he’s extremely sad and sorry.

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