Intoxicated driver pleads guilty for deadly crash that took a life, sentenced to 15 years in prison in the 435th District Court, Judge Patty Maginnis presiding.
On Friday, November 9, 2018, Travis Drew Clepper pled guilty to Intoxication Manslaughter arising out of a deadly crash that occurred on December 11, 2017. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Clepper was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Monday, November 26, 2018. The range of punishment for intoxication manslaughter is 2 to 20 years in prison. Travis Clepper was legally eligible for probation. Due to the affirmative finding of a deadly weapon, Clepper will have to serve at least half of his sentence before getting out of prison.
On Monday, December 11, 2017, at approximately 8:30 pm, as Wayland Melton was leaving the Decker Prairie Church of Christ, his vehicle was struck by Clepper’s vehicle at a high rate of speed. Melton was turning west onto Hardin Store Road as Clepper was traveling east. The airbag control module from Clepper’s vehicle showed that he was traveling over 80 miles per hour within a second of the crash. The speed limit on this section of roadway is 40 miles per hour. Wayland Melton died as a result of the crash.
The Texas Highway Patrol, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Vehicular Crimes Call-Out Team responded to the scene. Clepper’s blood was obtained and testing showed that his blood alcohol concentration was double the legal limit.
Vehicular Crimes Chief Andrew James and Assistant District Attorney Justin Fowles prosecuted the case.
Chief Prosecutor Andrew James: “As drivers, we have an obligation to be sober, focused, and safe as we share our roadways. Mr. Clepper failed to uphold that obligation and took the life of a good man. We are thankful for the efforts of law enforcement, particularly the Department of Public Safety, for the thorough and detailed investigation that led to this substantial prison sentence. We are also grateful for the grace and patience of the Melton family throughout this process and hope that this plea brings them some measure of closure.”