Drag Racer pleads guilty
to negligent homicide
Salt Lake Tribune
Author: Michael Vigh
Date: April 12, 2002
A teen-age drag racer who
lost control of his Porsche and hit and killed a
13-year-old pedestrian last summer in Murray pleaded
guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of negligent
In a plea bargain in juvenile court,
Kimble Smith also pleaded guilty to two mis- demeanor
counts of assault for hitting three other boys, and one
count each of reckless driving and exhibition driving.
Smith, originally charged with
second-degree felony manslaughter, turned to the victims'
family members -- who packed the courtroom -- and
"I'm very sorry to everyone
that's involved," said Smith, who says he hopes to
serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints and someday attend college.
Smith, now 18, will be sentenced April
24. In adult court, negligent homicide is punish- able by
up to a year in jail. The other misdemeanors each carry a
possible sentence of less than a year in jail.
In the juvenile court system, an
offender may be incarcerated only until the age of 21.
Third District Juvenile Court Judge
Andrew Valdez said Smith could serve time in a youth
lockup, be sent to a foster home or be placed in a
wilderness program. Smith has also been required to yield
his driver license.
Prosecutor Beth Lindsley declined to
say what sentence she will seek, but said the plea
agreement ensures that Smith "is held accountable
for what he did."
Lindsley acknowledged that some family
members of the victims expressed "reservations"
about the agreement.
Family members declined to comment,
but will probably speak at Smith's sentencing hearing.
Smith's attorney, Scott Williams, said
Smith "has been devastated by these tragic
circumstances from the beginning. There has always been a
desire by my client to express his sorrow."
Police said Smith, then 17, was
driving a Porsche 944 Turbo on Aug. 31 when he raced
Murray High School classmate Christian Paul, who was
driving a Toyota MR2. Smith was leading the slower Toyota
when he lost control and killed 13-year-old Craig
Police said Smith was traveling at
least 80 mph when his car skidded and spun off the
roadway near 5900 S. Murray Parkway Ave. (1000 West).
Smith testified at Paul's trial that he had new tires on
the car and felt "invincible."
In December, Paul was acquitted of
manslaughter and three counts of felony assault. Valdez
ruled that Paul was only guilty of exhibition driving
because he was not responsible for Smith's collision with