James Merrick sentenced to 15 years in prison for DUI-related death of McKinleyville teen

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A Eureka man who was arrested in December 2016 in connection with a fatal DUI collision in McKinleyville was sentenced to 15 years in state prison on Tuesday morning.

According to Deputy Public Defender Trent Timm, James Arthur Merrick II pleaded guilty to one felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter and one count of fleeing the scene after he fatally struck 16-year-old McKinleyville teenager Tess Rae Gingerich while behind the wheel of his pickup truck and under the influence.

At the time of the fatal collision, Merrick was already on probation for a previous DUI conviction in 2015.

Watch this space for space for updates.

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