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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Manslaughter charge: Earlsboro man accused of causing woman’s death in 2011

  • An Earlsboro man has been formally charged with a felony first-degree manslaughter count in connection with a February 2011 traffic accident that killed a Shawnee woman.


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  • An Earlsboro man has been formally charged with a felony first-degree manslaughter count in connection with a February 2011 traffic accident that killed a Shawnee woman.
    Charges are filed in Pottawatomie County District Court against Joe Dale Whitecotton, 57.
    According to the filing, Whitecotton is accused, without a premeditated design, of causing the death of Charlene Alberta Pereyra, 26, on Feb. 27, 2011.
    Charges allege Whitecotton was driving a 2003 Chevrolet pickup while committing a misdemeanor of driving under the combined influence of alcohol and an intoxicating substance. The charges allege he caused the vehicle to cross the centerline and collide head-on with Pereyra’s 2006 Chevrolet pickup.
    According to the arrest warrant also filed in the case, the accident occurred about 1:42 a.m. on Highway 99A, slightly east of SH 3.
    Following the collision, Pereyra was transported to an Oklahoma City hospital where she died, while her passenger was treated at a Shawnee hospital and released.
    At the scene, Trooper Troy Thompson interviewed Whitecotton, who allegedly said he’d been drinking at a local establishment, the warrant shows.
    The affidavit shows that the trooper administrated several field sobriety tests that Whitecotton failed.
    Whitecotton was transported to then-Unity Healthy Center for treatment of an arm injury, where a sample of blood also was withdrawn.
    The results of that analysis were a .07 blood alcohol content  about one hour and 49 minutes after that crash, the affidavits shows, and the results also indicated he had consumed marijuana.
    Whitecotton’s next court date on the case hasn’t yet been scheduled.
    If convicted of felony manslaughter, he could face imprisonment for no less than four years.
    Watch for updates.
     
     

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