Drunk Driver Gets 16-40 Years for Killing Nevada State Troopers

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In a wheel of justice finally turned, Jemarcus Williams, a 46-year-old Nevada man was sentenced this Tuesday to 16 to 40 years of hard-time for his role in the fatal crash that claimed the lives of two valiant state troopers on a Las Vegas highway last November. A fate that he will have to meet only after minimum 16 years behind bars for parole eligibility.

Williams, who had already been in custody for 195 days, was credited for time served. Just before summer, in April, he stood before Clark County District Court Judge Susan Johnson with head bowed and pleaded guilty to two counts of DUI resulting in death.

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The darkness unfolded in the evening hours of November 29th, 2023 when Williams chose to pair the thrill of sports betting at the Westgate sportsbook with drinking. Augmenting the personal pub crawl, he got himself more liquor at a gas station before diving deeper into the intoxicating maelstrom at the Palms Casino Resort. Nestled in the dimly lit confines of the casino’s Ghost Bar, Williams and an acquaintance shared a bottle of Hennessy and vodka.

Casino security guards, recognizing Williams’ impaired state, forcibly evicted him from the bar, even warning him against driving. But the advice fell on deaf ears. Williams soon found himself behind the wheel after hiding behind a tree to evade surveillance. The night ended on I-15.

A graphically tragic accident on I-15 at the D Street offramp cost Trooper Alberto Felix and Sergeant Michael Abbate their lives. Both officers were on highway duty when Williams’ car violently struck them. One trooper made the ultimate sacrifice at the scene while the other drew his last breath at the University Medical Center.

Williams tried to evade responsibility by fleeing, but he was later arrested. An administered blood-alcohol test unveiled his recklessness – a whopping 0.19, almost two and a half times the legal limit of 0.08 in Nevada. Initial charges included driving under the influence resulting in death, reckless driving resulting in death, and the duty to stop at an accident scene involving death, but a plea bargain magnanimously revised the counts.

Ascended on the scales of justice, Williams was ordered to remunerate Felix’s family $7,674 for the fallen officer’s funeral. However, Sergeant Abbate’s kin did not seek reimbursement.

The emotional courtroom was filled with the anguish of the victims’ families. Felix’s daughter, Alyssa Belle Yabut, detailed her emotional turmoil at seeing her father in a state no one should have to witness. Vanessa Abbate, the grieving widow of Sergeant Michael Abbate, radiated her trauma of surviving her husband’s death, recounting her daily struggle of trying to console their 3-year-old son’s longing for his father.

Williams, amidst tears and regret, offered his apologies to the bereaved. He confessed his failure in judgment as both “irresponsible and senseless”, pledging his shattered heart and prayers for the families he had irrevocably damaged.