MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A Mobile teenager charged in a crash that killed a young mother was granted youthful offender status during a court hearing Wednesday afternoon.
Wilkinson Howes was indicted in March in the November 2017 crash. He is accused of driving 90 mph in a 30 mph zone on Lloyds Lane when his SUV struck a Jaguar that was pulling out of a driveway, according to a police report. The collision pushed the car more than 60 feet until it hit a mailbox and fire hydrant. The SUV, meanwhile, flipped and landed on its passenger side.
The driver of the car, Claudia Leatherwood, died. Her two children survived the wreck.
FOX10 News at the time raised questions about why Howes, who was 16 then, had not been charged. He eventually was charged, and the grand jury handed down a manslaughter indictment.
That normally carries a sentence of two to 20 years upon conviction, but Howes' punishment will now be limited, and his court record sealed. If convicted, he will face a maximum of three years behind bars.
FOX10 News Reporter Tyler Fingert spoke to the family on the phone today. They said they are heartbroken about the news.
In addition to the criminal case, Leatherwood’s family has filed a civil suit against Howes.