Written by Devon Boen
The Wolf Point man who was charged with negligent homicide and negligent vehicular assault after a rollover accident in August has entered a plea to the charges.
Justino Jason Hernandez, 22, was charged with the two counts following a crash outside of Billings.
On Nov. 2, Hernandez pleaded not guilty to both the negligent homicide charge and the negligent vehicular assault charge.
The Billings Gazette said Hernandez was the driver and one passenger, 21-year-old Alexander Barr, was injured in the crash while the other passenger, 21-year-old Kevor Martell, died at the scene.
The Gazette said Martell had asked to use Hernandez’s phone so Martell took the wheel while Hernandez entered his password. It said Hernandez then lost control of the vehicle and overcorrected, causing the car to roll.
It also alleged Hernandez was travelling at high speeds when he crashed just before midnight on Aug. 7 and admitted to investigators that he was drinking beer while driving.
Hernandez has no prior criminal history and is a military veteran according to attorneys and a prosecutor also said he was cooperative throughout the process thus far.
The Montana Code Annotated states a person convicted of negligent homicide faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. The penalty for negligent vehicular assault depends on the amount of harm caused to the victim.