Kylee Bettencourt found guilty of manslaughter

Published 8:19 am Thursday, March 7, 2024

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On March 6, a Pike County jury found Kylee Bettencourt guilty of Manslaughter and 3rd Degree Assault in connection to a motor vehicle crash that claimed the life Devin Whitcomb in 2020.

According to a release from 12th Judicial Circuit District Attorney James Tarbox, testimony and evidence presented at the two-day trial showed that Bettencourt was driving a 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe on Oct. 29, 2020, when “she recklessly drove the vehicle around a left hand curve, ran off the road and over-corrected, eventually sending the vehicle rolling through a pasture.”

The passenger of the Tahoe, Devin Whitcomb, was ejected from the vehicle and succumbed to injuries suffered in the crash. Another passenger, Sarita Hendry, was also injured. Additionally, a toxicologist with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences testified that at the time of the crash, Bettencourt was under the influence of methamphetamine. The toxicologist testified that the presence of methamphetamine in Bettencourt’s blood sample taken after the crash indicates that her judgment and ability to drive were impaired.

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“This conviction is important because it shows that our community cannot and will not tolerate those who use illegal substances and choose to drive a motor vehicle,” Tarbox said. “Nationwide law enforcement is encountering an increasing number of drivers who are intoxicated by controlled substances to include marijuana. While alcohol is traditionally viewed as the substance that creates a driving under the influence situation, any substance, whether legal or otherwise, that impairs judgment and/or motor skills can create an unsafe situation, and can lead to potential criminal charges if a person is impaired and operating a motor vehicle.”

Assistant District Attorney Ternisha Jones represented the State of Alabama in the case and the court was presided by Circuit Judge Sonny Reagan. Traffic Homicide Investigators with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) investigated the crash, with assistance from Pike County Sheriff’s Office, Troy Fire and Rescue and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences. Sentencing for Bettencourt will be set at a later date.