Man admits smoking synthetic pot when he killed Headland teen

Evidence revealed he also drove at almost twice the legal limit as Cody Jenkins died.
A man pleaded guilty Monday to using illegal drugs and driving at high speeds when he killed a Headland teen.
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 2:46 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - A man pleaded guilty Monday to using illegal drugs and driving at high speeds when he killed a Headland teen.

Jeremy Carruthers, 33, admitted to reckless manslaughter in an agreement with Henry County prosecuting attorney Sam Clenney.

He had been charged with murder.

“I’m glad that he took the responsibility,” said Lydia Gordon, whose 15-year-old son Cody Jenkins died more than six years ago.

Cody was retrieving a trash can at his home when Carruthers’ car swerved off a rural roadway.

Evidence revealed that he had smoked synthetic marijuana and drove at 80 in a 45-miles-per-hour zone, according to prosecutors.

He has been jailed since Alabama state troopers arrested him almost immediately after the incident that occurred on July 27, 2016.

Because of a prior felony conviction, Carruthers faces 99 years, though defense attorney Jim Parkman hopes punishment will be less severe because of his plea but he concedes that Carruthers won’t get off easy.

“Jeremy did it and he is going to have to pay for it and he’s going to have to go to prison,” Parkman said.

Jenkins was a brilliant Headland High School student who began writing computer programs at eight-years-old, Gordon told WTVY News 4.

“I still think of him every day,” she said.

Carruthers, who also pleaded guilty to having drugs in jail, will be sentenced on February 10.

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