James Merrick sentenced to prison for DUI-related death of McKinleyville teenager


A 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 District Attorney Trent Timm, James Arthur Merrick II pleaded guilty to one felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter and one special allegation of fleeing the scene after he fatally struck 16-year-old McKinleyville teenager Tessa 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. Merrick received 15 years for the manslaughter charge, five years for fleeing the scene and he also agreed to waive the time he had served since the initial incident amounting to five more years.

Watch this space for updates.

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