The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

February 12, 2014

Trial begins for man accused of intoxicated manslaughter

By MARY RAINWATER
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE —

A six-man, six-woman jury began hearing evidence on Tuesday in the trial of a 19-year-old Palestine man accused of intoxicated manslaughter relating to the 2012 death of a 17-year old girl.

Hayden Blaine Gray, on trial in the court of 87th District Court Judge Deborah Oakes Evans, is accused of driving intoxicated and causing the death of Cheyenne Franklin, 17, in a one-vehicle wreck which occurred on Nov. 17, 2012.

Franklin was a back seat passenger in a pickup truck that Gray was driving on Anderson County Road 2102, just north of Texas 294.

Both Gray and Franklin were students at Elkhart High School — Gray was a senior and Franklin was a junior.

“The prosecution intends to prove that Gray was intoxicated on alcohol and hydrocodone and driving at a high rate of speed when his truck left the road and struck numerous trees before rolling over and coming to rest overturned,” Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe reported.

Gray also is charged with manslaughter in the death of Franklin, who was killed instantly in the wreck.

Department of Safety Trooper Lynn Hubert investigated the case and obtained a blood sample from Gray.

“Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony which carries a possible punishment of 2-to-20 years in prison,' Lowe said. “Gray is asking for probation if he is found guilty.”

The State of Texas is represented by First Assistant District Attorney Stanley Sokolowski, Assistant District Attorney Scott Holden and District Attorney Doug Lowe. Gray’s attorney is Dan Scarbrough of Palestine.

The trial was expected to continue at 9 a.m. today in the Anderson County Courthouse. Lowe estimated the trial to conclude late Thursday or early Friday morning.