Trial continues for man accused in fatal DUI boat wreck

WAFF's Jasmyn Cornell reporting
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 9:22 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2022 at 6:32 AM CDT

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - The trial continues on Thursday for a boat driver charged in the 2019 death of a mother and her five-year-old daughter.

Ross Newton Wooten III, 36, was charged with manslaughter for a June 2019 boat crash that occurred near the area of Robbins Island. According to authorities, Wooten III crashed his boat into the front of a 30-foot cabin cruiser, killing Lauren Cowart, 37, and her daughter, Blakely.

Wooten III was driving the boat with the Cowarts and his four-year-old son, according to investigators. Wooten III’s son was sitting in his lap at the time of the crash. Lauren and Blakely Cowart were in the passenger seat.

According to investigators, Wooten III had a blood alcohol level higher than the legal limit. The Department of Forensic Sciences report states Wooten III had a blood alcohol content of 0.121.

In August 2019, Wooten III was indicted on two counts of manslaughter.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly told our news partners at Times Daily that officials picked a jury Monday in Lauderdale County Circuit Court Judge William Powell’s courtroom.

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