A Breckenridge man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for intoxication manslaughter in connection with a 2005 traffic accident that killed former Bangs Police Chief Bill Copeland.
Wayne Leroy Pense III, 36, entered guilty pleas Monday before District Judge Steve Ellis to intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.
Ellis approved a plea bargain and sentenced Pense to concurrent 30-year terms in both cases.
First Assistant District Attorney Sam Moss said Pense was under the influence of amphetamine when the 2000 Dodge Dakota pickup he was driving collided with Copeland’s 2002 Ford Explorer the evening of Nov. 9, 2005.
Copeland’s wife, Cathy, and their 8-year-old daughter, Megan, were injured in the collision, which happened at 7:20 p.m. on Highway 279 12 miles north of Brownwood, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.
The Copelands’ Explorer was struck from behind by Pense’s pickup, and the Explorer rolled several times, the DPS said.
Copeland, 52, who lived in Bangs, was driving home with his wife and daughter from a Wednesday night service at Crossroads Baptist Church when the collision happened. Copeland was the youth minister at the church, which is on Park Road 15.
Copeland was hired as Bangs police chief in August 2003 and fired in April 2004.
In other recent court cases:
Jimmy Michael Rutledge pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and was sentenced to 28 years in prison. Alton Dale Williams pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to nine years in prison. Chantal Duncan-Bush pleaded guilty to assault against a public servant and was sentenced to four years in prison.