Claremore Teen Appears In Court In Double Fatality Wreck
NewsOn6.com and Tara Vreeland, News On 6
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -- Keaton Hannah, 18, made his initial appearance in Rogers County courtroom Wednesday to face charges of manslaughter in connection to a double fatality wreck that killed a man and his infant son.
The courtroom was packed with family and friends from both sides: Keaton Hannah's and the victims'.
On June 17, police say Hannah was trying to leave the scene of a minor accident. He drove the wrong way down Highway 66 near Verdigris.
Hannah hit an SUV head on, killing Eric Watkins and his 7-month-old son, Bryor. Watkin's wife Ginger was hospitalized and released.
"I hate him. I know the Bible; everybody always tells us never to hate, but I hate him. I hate him with all my heart," Ginger Watkins said following the wreck.
"I'm only 21 and I'm already a widow. I lost the love of my life and my precious little boy."
Ginger was not in the courtroom Wednesday morning. But one of her family members says she is not doing well.
Hannah is charged with two counts of manslaughter and one count of leaving the scene of an accident.
Keaton Hannah just graduated from Verdigris High School. On Wednesday he sat in a Roger's County Courtroom in an orange jumpsuit and shackles, eyes downcast as he quietly wiped away tears.
"I know that Keaton is a kid that made a really, really bad choice," said Jeremy Donovan, Hannah's youth pastor at Destiny Life Church.
A choice in which the lives of so many were changed.
Hannah's youth pastor says the teen was one of the best leaders in his youth group. That he helped every day after school at Destiny Life Church.
"Keaton wanted to be a youth pastor - wants to be a youth pastor," Donovan said.
Hannah did not enter a plea. He was taken back to jail and will await a preliminary hearing. That's set for August 17th.
"We're just praying for everyone involved - why we were in there," said Youth Pastor Jeremy Donovan, Destiny Life Church.
"Just praying for the other family. I know he's hurting for the family. He's got a good heart."
Prosecutors told The News On 6 that the DUI charge against Hannah is included within the manslaughter charges.
His next court hearing is set for August 17, 2011 at 9 a.m.