Sentencing delayed in 2013 vehicular manslaughter case |

Sentencing delayed in 2013 vehicular manslaughter case

Sentencing was postponed for a man who caused a crash that killed his passenger in December 2013, after he failed to report to the county probation department for his pre-sentence report.

William Robert Hawkyard was 18 at the time of the crash on Dec. 3, 2013, in which he was driving a soft-top sedan “well in excess” of the 40 mph speed limit.

He lost control as he entered a 35 mph curve and went off the edge of the road, striking several objects, including a utility pole. The car then overturned and rotated back across the roadway, causing major damage to its roof.

Hawkyard’s passenger, Dakota Smith, sustained major head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hawkyard initially pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter, driving at an unsafe speed and making an unlawful turning movement; he subsequently pleaded no contest to the vehicular manslaughter charge in August.

In Nevada County Superior Court Monday, defense attorney Larry Montgomery told Judge Candace Heidelberger he did not believe his client’s failure to report to the probation department was intentional.

Deputy District Attorney Jesse Wilson asked that Hawkyard be taken into custody, at least until the pre-sentence report was completed.

Heidelberger agreed, noting that the defendant would have gone into custody anyway if his sentencing has gone forward.

Hawkyard will be back in court for his sentencing on Oct. 26.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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