Bonney Lake

Man pleads guilty to causing his second fatal wreck since 1999

Staff writerOctober 8, 2013 

A 51-year-old Bonney Lake resident who served prison time for killing a man in a car wreck in 1999 pleaded guilty Tuesday in another vehicle-related fatality.

James Southard Jr. faces an exceptional sentence of 27 years when sentenced Nov. 1 under an agreement worked out between prosecutors and his defense team. A standard range sentence for Southard would be seven years, three months and 9 years four months in prison.

Southard pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in the Aug. 11 death of Gary Slick, who was hit by a pickup as he walked along 214th Avenue East in Bonney Lake.

Witnesses reported seeing the truck swerving in the street just before it ran onto the shoulder and hit Slick, who was 47.

Police said they found methamphetamine and other drugs in the pickup, which was being driven by Southard.

In 2000, Southard pleaded guilty to five felonies stemming from a string of drunken-driven related crashes that culminated with the death of Shawn Fairbanks, 37. Southard was driving along River Road in Puyallup when his Camaro hit another car, which collided with Fairbanks' pickup.

Southard was sentenced to 10 years in prison in that case.


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