Haskell Man Found Guilty In Drunk Driving Deaths

Friday, March 28th 2014, 5:46 pm
By: News On 6

A jury found a Haskell man guilty on two counts of first-degree manslaughter in an Okmulgee drunk driving case that killed two people.

James Austin Brown Jr. was driving in Okmulgee county in July of 2010, when he crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a car head-on, killing Tonia Cooksey Cruz and Clay Reynolds.

Court documents said he was driving under the influence of alcohol.

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Brown was in custody, but escaped when he was taken to St. Francis hospital for heart surgery. After being on the run for a year, Brown surrendered to authorities in Alabama.

On Friday, a jury found Brown guilty on both counts of first-degree manslaughter and recommended 15 years for each.

The court is scheduling a pre-sentencing investigation to determine if the counts will be concurrent or consecutive. The judge also wants to learn more about Brown's past history before sentencing him.