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UPDATED: Gig Harbor man charged in drunken driving crash that killed 9-year-old nephew

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on March 19, 2013 at 8:34 am with No Comments »
March 19, 2013 3:19 pm

UPDATE: Not guilty pleas were entered on Randall’s behalf in Pierce County Superior Court this morning. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered him jailed in lieu of $250,000.

Deputy prosecutor Timothy Jones said Randall is on suicide watch at the jail. Randall allegedly threatened to kill himself if one of his young relatives died.

A number of his friends and relatives were in court for his arraignment. They left court without talking to reporters.

PREVIOUS POST: A Gig Harbor man was charged with vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment this morning for a suspected drunken driving crash that killed his 9-year-old nephew.

Jayce Randall, 26, is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges later this morning.

Jayce Randall is wheeled into court on Tuesday morning. (Dean J. Koepfler/staff photographer)
Jayce Randall is wheeled into Pierce County Superior Court on Tuesday morning. (Dean J. Koepfler/staff photographer)

Authorities have said Randall was giving his nephew, Donovan Best, and 8-year-old niece a ride to their grandparents’ house about 1:30 a.m. Saturday when he lost control of his car and rolled it as he exited state Route 16 at the state Route 302 exit near Purdy.

Randall and Donovan, who troopers believe were not properly seat belted, were thrown from the car as it rolled into a ditch. The little girl was wearing her seat belt in the backseat and was not injured.

Just before Randall tried to turn off SR 16, his niece told troopers “he asked if they were ready,” according to charging papers. She “stated that he usually says that when he is going to go fast.”

Randall’s niece closed her eyes.

She later told troopers she and her brother were crying and asking their uncle to slow down.

After the crash, the little girl climbed out of the wreckage, checked on her brother and flagged down a passing car for help.

Troopers found a baggie with 122.5 grams of marijuana in Randall’s car, court records show. He allegedly admitted he “drank too much,” claiming to have had four drinks and smoked pot an hour before he got behind the wheel.

Donovan was taken off life support Sunday night. Randall was released from the hospital Monday afternoon and booked into Pierce County Jail.

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