Man pleads guilty in fatal Shoals Creek DUI boat wreck

Wooten enters plea agreement
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 3:30 PM CDT

LAUDERDALE Co. Ala. (WAFF) - A man that was charged with manslaughter for a June 2019 boat crash that killed two people pleaded guilty to lesser charges in court on Thursday.

Ross Newton Wooten III, 36, had been charged with manslaughter after authorities said he crashed his boat into the front of a 30-foot cabin cruiser, killing Lauren Cowart, 37, and her daughter, Blakely.

Wooten III pleaded guilty to two counts of criminally negligent homicide with impairment and one count of misdemeanor assault. He was given a split sentence of 20 years, four of which will be spent behind bars.

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

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