Last Wednesday the Arkansas Court of Appeals upheld the convictions of a man who killed a little girl in a car crash in June 2014.
In January 2019, a jury in Faulkner County convicted 32-year-old Keith Parks and imposed a 5½-year prison sentence.
Parks faced up to twenty years in prison on charges of Class B felony battery and misdemeanor negligent homicide.
He will qualify for parole in June, according to prison records.
Parks was driving a borrowed Chevrolet Impala at around 100 miles per hour when he rear-ended the Toyota Sienna in which little Esther Lazar was traveling.
The accident happened off Interstate 40 near Mayflower a little before midnight.
Both vehicles were heading east and the Hot Springs family of five was going home from vacation.
The impact sent both vehicles off the road and Esther was thrown from the van. She died at the roadside while her father and brother received minor injuries.
Her mother, Lucia Lazar received broken bones that required surgery, hospitalization, and rehabilitation.
Parks’ blood alcohol concentration was recorded at 0.066 which is below the 0.08 legal limit. The prosecution said this was evidence of his negligence.
However, Parks’ attorney Eric Moore said the judge should not have allowed the jury to see the blood test results since his client’s blood was taken without his consent. He said paramedics drew the blood at the instruction of the investigating trooper.
However, the high court agreed with Assistant Attorney General Jacob Jones, who put forward the view the officer was following the law as he understood it in 2014.
The law at the time required police to take blood samples, with or without consent whenever someone died in an accident.
However, many of the laws relating to blood draws have since been deemed unconstitutional.
If you suffer serious injuries or you lose a loved one in a crash, an Arkansas car accident lawyer may be able to help you get compensation.