SIOUX CITY | Sentencing options for Jerell Wilson ranged from probation to prison. All options had their merits, and none of them likely would punish Wilson as harshly as the knowledge that his actions led to his uncle's death.
Yet, District Judge Steven Andreasen told Wilson, he must be held accountable for the fatal car crash that resulted in the death of Djuan Beverly.
"It is difficult for this court to ignore the fact that your acts in this case resulted in the death of another person," Andreasen said Tuesday before sentencing Wilson to 10 years in prison on single counts of vehicular homicide, eluding and operating while intoxicated.
A Woodbury County District Court jury in September found Wilson, 24, of Omaha, guilty of the charges in connection with the Nov. 11 crash on West Third Street.
Wilson sped away from a Woodbury County Sheriff's deputy who tried to stop him for a traffic violation on Hamilton Boulevard. Wilson turned onto West Third Street, accelerated to 80 mph, bottomed out on a dip in the street, then skidded and flipped the car into a retaining wall at the corner of West Third and Ross streets.
Beverly, 38, who was in the passenger seat, died from head injuries sustained in the crash.
Officers found 29 bags of marijuana inside and outside the crashed car, and tests showed that Wilson had marijuana in his system at the time of the crash. Defense attorney Mike Williams said at Tuesday's hearing that the marijuana belonged to Beverly, and Wilson acted impulsively to speed away from the deputy in an attempt to keep his uncle from being arrested for drug possession.