Man pleads no contest to manslaughter charges in crash that killed two passengers

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man who faced two counts of murder in a February crash that killed his two passengers pleaded no contest Monday to charges including vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

Damion James Hutson agreed under the terms of the plea deal to serve a sentence of 19 years and eight months in prison, prosecutors said.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 2.

Hutson, 26, ran a red light in a Dodge Challenger and collided with a pickup the evening of Feb. 11, according to authorities. The crash happened on China Grade Loop at Manor Street.

Joshua James Andrews, 27, and Lori Sue Soto, 32, were ejected from the Challenger and died at the scene, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Hutson ran from the crash before officers arrived, according to the CHP. He was located and arrested outside his home the next day.

In addition to two counts of manslaughter, Hutson pleaded no contest to felony vehicle theft and hit and run charges. Two counts of second-degree murder, possession of a stolen vehicle and a drug charge were dismissed under the plea agreement.

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