A negligent homicide charge was held until the end of the Mayes County Court disposition docket, April 4.
On Oct. 6, 2012, Jacob Martin, 19, Chouteau, was charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle.
Court records state that Martin was driving on Highway 412 and County Road 428 when he failed to yield. As a result his vehicle struck another vehicle driven by James Butler.
Butler was killed in the collision.
Present in the courtroom was Martin's parents, and several of Butler's family members.
After Martin entered a plea of guilty Judge Rebecca Gore ensured he understood the plea of guilty summary of facts.
Upon recommendation from the state Judge Gore sentenced him to a two year district attorney- supervised probation, victims compensation assessment, 60 days in jail or 240 hours of community service and attendance of a driving improvement course. Gore said the sentence had been discussed with the victims family and they were in agreement.
After sentencing, Butler's mother was allowed to read a letter to the court.
She began by saying that in 2007 she lost her middle son, and close friend. Her family cried as she read aloud.
“He talked me through pain. He gave me a will to live,” she said. “The night before the wreck he went to the airport to pick up his daughter and grandson, who he had never met. After several hours of visiting with them, he left to go to the hospital to sit with his wife who was ill.”
She described the blessing he was in her life, and how that blessing was taken away.
“He would say Jacob is a youngster and punishment should be compassionate,” she said of Martins sentence.
“The Martin family has been supportive in our loss. We offer support to them as well. We believe Jacob is remorseful and forgive him,” she said.
The court turned its attention back to Judge Gore.
“You have received a second chance, something Mr. Butler cannot have,” said Gore.“Do not blow it. You're very young and you have a chance. Mr. Butlers family is counting on you.”
After court was adjourned the two families met in the aisle to exchange tearful hugs and words of encouragement.