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Airman receives jail time for death in fiery crash

May 1, 2008
By DAVE CALDWELL, Staff Writer
An airman who pleaded guilty in March to causing the death of another airman in a fiery crash in July 2007 was sentenced Tuesday to one year in the Ward County Jail.

Stephen Garrett, 20, was driving a vehicle on 14th Avenue Southwest near Souris Valley Golf Course when he lost control on a curve, striking two trees and causing the car to catch fire. Adam Barrs, 20, died of head and neck injuries suffered in the accident.

Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, but Garrett admitted to speeding prior to the crash.

Several members of both Garrett and Barrs’ family testified during an emotional sentencing hearing in Northwest District Court in Minot that lasted more than two hours.

At the end, Judge Douglas Mattson gave Garrett credit for two days served. Because the sentence was one year or less, Garrett’s crime was deemed a misdemeanor offense. Mattson also ordered Garrett to pay $525 in court fees, but declined to impose a fine. A restitution hearing will be held within 60 days to determine the exact amount Garrett will have to pay.

In the meantime, Garrett was granted immediate work release for five to six days per week, and during that time he will pay 10 percent of his earnings as restitution, and he will pay $75 per month beginning two months after his release from jail.

Garrett was taken to jail immediately following the hearing to begin his sentence.


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