Crime

Man pleads guilty in Gig Harbor crash that killed his nephew, 9

Staff writerSeptember 10, 2013 

A 27-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday to vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment charges stemming from a March crash near Gig Harbor that left his 9-year-old nephew dead.

Jayce Randall is to be sentenced Oct. 4. He faces a standard-range sentence of six years, six months to eight years, six months in prison.

Deputy prosecutor Tim Jones said he would recommend the low end for Randall because he pleaded guilty as charged and took responsibility for his crime.

Randall was behind the wheel of a car that went out of control March 16 at the interchange between state Routes 16 and 302. Randall's nephew, Donovan Best, was riding in the front seat and was not properly restrained, authorities said. He was thrown from the car and died.

Randall's 8-year-old niece, who was riding in the back seat and wearing her seat belt, survived the crash and flagged down a passing motorist for help.

Randall, who was injured in the wreck, later admitted that he "drank too much" and smoked pot before loading the children into his car to take them to their grandparents' home.

His blood-alcohol level after his arrest was 0.19, more than twice the legal limit, prosecutors said.

His niece told investigators Randall was driving at high speeds right before the wreck and that she and her brother had asked him to slow down, court records show.

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