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Man Charged in Sportscaster's Traffic Death

22-Jun-2015

This weekend, the Oklahoma City-metro area learned with shock that a long time sportscaster with KFOR was killed in a traffic accident on May Avenue near 142nd. According to reports, Bob Barry, Jr., was riding a motorized scooter when another vehicle made an illegal U-turn in front of him, causing a fatal collision. 

After the accident, police arrested the unlicensed driver of the passenger vehicle on multiple charges, including cocaine possession and manslaughter. Oklahoma County Jail records show Gustavo Castillo Gutierrez, 26, was booked into jail several hours after the accident, charged with the following criminal complaints:

  • Causing an accident without a valid driver's license
  • Causing an accident without a valid driver's license resulting in death
  • Illegal U-turn
  • First degree manslaughter by use of a dangerous weapon
  • Possession of a controlled dangerous substance

As of this writing, the suspect has not been formally charged in Oklahoma County District Court, but let us look at some of the charges he faces after the accident and the consequences of each charge.

The Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Code deals with causing an accident without a valid driver's license in 47 O.S. § 11-905. If a person is driving without a valid driver's license, or if he or she is disqualified to drive a motor vehicle in Oklahoma, causing a personal injury accident is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in the county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. However, the consequences are much more severe if the unlicensed driver causes an accident resulting in great bodily injury or death:

  • If an unlicensed driver causes an accident resulting in great bodily injury, the act is a felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000.
  • If an unlicensed driver causes an accident resulting in death, the act is a felony likewise punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison, but with a fine of up to $5,000.

Oklahoma law expressly states that the charges for causing an accident without a valid driver's license "may be charged in addition to any other chargeable offense allowed by law." In this case, the other serious criminal charge related to the accident is first degree manslaughter.

First degree manslaughter is defined in 21 O.S. § 711 as an act of unintentional homicide that occurs under one of the following conditions:

  • in the commission of a misdemeanor
  • in the heat of passion or by use of a dangerous weapon
  • unnecessarily in resisting an attempted crime, or after the attempt has failed.

In this case, police are calling the vehicle a "dangerous weapon," which is not an uncommon tactic. Conviction of first degree manslaughter carries a prison sentence of no less than 4 years.

Of course, these charges are the ones specifically related to the fatal accident. Police say they found the suspect to be in possession of cocaine at the time of the accident. In Oklahoma possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II CDS without a valid prescription is a felony punishable by 4 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Because the victim in this case is such a high profile figure in central Oklahoma, you can be certain the local news will be following this story closely.



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