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Driver in Fatal Lawyers Hill Crash Pleads Guilty

Dale Audet, 19, of Linthicum appeared for plea hearing in Howard County Circuit Court Monday.

The man who drove a Pontiac G6 into a tree on Lawyers Hill Road in Elkridge pleaded guilty Monday to two charges of negligent manslaughter relating to the Nov. 25 car crash that killed two of his passengers.

Officials from the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office said they will ask for a six-year jail term for Dale Kirk Audet II, suspending all but 18 months, followed by six months of home detention and five years of supervised probation.

Two teens in the front and rear passenger-side seats were killed: 18-year-old Jonathon Lloyd Deckman of Severn and 19-year-old Jeffrey Ryan Giles of Linthicum were pronounced dead at the scene.

Audet, 19, who lives in Linthicum, had been driving a group of four teens to go "hill jumping" on the evening of Nov. 25, according to a statement from Howard County prosecutors.

Hill jumping is an activity in which a driver accelerates over a crest in hopes of becoming airborne.

Police investigation revealed Audet's car was traveling at approximately 70 mph in a 30 mph zone when it crested a hill and spun clockwise into a tree on Lawyers Hill Road at approximately 8 p.m., according to the statement from prosecutors.

Audet appeared in Howard County Circuit Court Monday for the first time since the Nov. 25 incident. Previously, he was still recovering from crash-related injuries and could not appear before a judge, records show.

Audet was indicted in March on two counts of criminal manslaughter, two counts of negligent manslaughter, reckless driving, negligent driving, speeding and failing to drive right of center.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 19.

See related links: 

  • Two Teens Die in Crash on Lawyers Hill
  • Teen Faces Manslaughter Charges in Lawyers Hill Crash
  • Teen to Plead Guilty in Lawyers Hill Manslaughter

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