Prineville man changes plea in drugged-driving case
A Prineville man has changed his plea in a 2016 drugged-driving case that killed a Madras man.
Justice Knight Collins, 20, pleaded guilty Thursday to criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence of intoxicants stemming from a March 2016 head-on crash on Highway 126 west of Redmond. In May of this year, Collins entered a not-guilty plea and his trial had been set to begin on Dec. 5.
During Thursday's court hearing, Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Kari Hathorn said Collins was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the collision, according to a report from Z21 news.
During the hearing, Circuit Judge Wells Ashby set sentencing for Dec. 8 at 3 p.m.
Hathorn said prosecutors will recommend a 34- to 36-month prison term. The judge does not have to follow that recommendation.
On March 31, 2016, Collins, then 18, was driving a 2002 Ford Explorer heading east on U.S. Highway 126 when it crossed the centerline and collided with a 2003 Chrysler van, driven by Jason Franklin, 41, of Madras. Authorities reported that the first vehicle Collins encountered was able to avoid the Explorer but the following vehicle, driven by Franklin, was not.
Franklin died at the crash scene. Collins was taken to St. Charles Bend for treatment of his injuries.