Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

April 14, 2014

PPC jury hands down guilty verdict in manslaughter case Wednesday

Mineral Wells Index


Wednesday a Palo Pinto County jury found Nathan Luke Nichols, 24, of Stephenville, formerly of Santo, guilty of two counts of manslaughter. Sentencing should begin within a week to 10 days, said Palo Pinto District Attorney Michael Burns.

The manslaughter charges are second-degree felonies that can carry jail sentences of two to 20 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000, he said.

The prosecution arose from law enforcement's investigation of a fatal car wreck Jan. 3, 2013, about 2.5 miles east of Santo on Farm-to-Market Road 2201 that killed two people, Burns said.

Carolyn K. Veach, 54, of Santo, and James King, 44, of Santo, a passenger in Veach's vehicle, died at the scene of the wreck after Nichols' Ford Mustang and Veach's Chrysler PT Cruiser collided head-on.

Department of Public Safety troopers investigating the scene said Nichols was traveling east and Veach was approaching from the opposite direction when Nichols lost control of his vehicle and crossed into the westbound lane and struck Veach's vehicle shortly before 6 p.m. that day.

Nichols was seriously injured at the scene and was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.