By TODD GLASSCOCK
PALO PINTO – Wednesday, a Palo Pinto County jury found David Wendell Kilcrease, 48, of Mineral Wells, not guilty of the charge of intoxication manslaughter in the death of Billie Charles Thresher.
Kilcrease was, however, found guilty of the lesser charge of driving while intoxicated.
Thresher, 57, died after a Dec. 21 crash at the intersection of Keller Road and U.S Highway 180 west of Mineral Wells.
29th Judicial District Court Judge Michael Moore sentenced Kilcrease to 180 days suspended jail time, two years community supervision and assessed the maximum fine for a first time DWI of $2,000. As a condition of Kilcrease’s probation, all motor vehicles he operates will be fitted with an interlock device, which detects alcohol on the breath of a driver and prevents the vehicle from being started if alcohol is detected.
“I’m happy with the verdict,” Kilcrease said. “I feel my lawyer did his job and justice is served.”
When the verdict was read, Kilcrease’s girlfriend, Tina Price, began to cry, relieved her boyfriend was found not guilty of Thresher’s death.
“I’m just ecstatic,” she said. “He didn’t kill anybody. Bill was our friend. It was a bad thing. We knew in our hearts he was not guilty.”
Price, who was a passenger in Kilcrease’s Ford Taurus the night of the crash, had testified Tuesday as the only witness of the collision that killed Thresher.
Her testimony was brief. She said she remembered nothing of the wreck because she had been rendered unconscious at some point during the crash.
The night of the wreck she was transported to Palo Pinto General Hospital for injuries she sustained in the crash.
In his opening remarks Tuesday, District Attorney Michael Burns told the four-woman, eight-man jury what he believed the evidence would show.