Youthful offender status granted to teen in crash that killed Rod and Paula Bramblett
LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - A judge has granted youthful offender status to the teenager who was charged with two counts of reckless manslaughter after a crash that killed Rod and Paula Bramblett in 2019.
Rod Bramblett was known for years as the voice of the Auburn Tigers athletics.
According to court records, the Brambletts were killed after Johnston Taylor’s vehicle hit their SUV from behind while they were sitting at a red light. Data analysis of Taylor’s vehicle showed that he was traveling at approximately 91 mph at the time of impact.
Circuit Judge P.B. McLauchlin noted in the decision that the defendant was 16 at the time of the May 25, 2019 crash, and that he’d only had a drivers license for three months.
The judge also noted that Taylor underwent drug rehab treatment later in 2019 after his bond was revoked for an arrest on charges of speeding and reckless driving but that he’d passed all subsequent drug screens except for one in March.
The judge said the defendant alleged the failed test, which detected alcohol, was due to allergy medicine he was taking that contained alcohol.
“At the time of the accident, the defendant was a 16 year old teenager with no prior criminal history, who had smoked or used marijuana and had been diagnosed with marijuana use disorder,” the judge’s decision stated. “None of this justifies what happened; however, it does lend itself to treatment as a Youthful Offender.”
Taylor will be back in court for an arraignment and plea on April 28.
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