Cambria man sentenced for deadly ATV crash
January 13, 2015
A 30-year-old Cambria man received a four-year jail sentence on Monday for killing a lifelong friend in a drunken ATV accident. [Tribune]
In July 2012, Garret Taylor drove a stolen ATV head-on into an oak tree, killing 20-year-old passenger Justin Evans. A San Luis Obispo jury recently convicted Taylor of auto theft and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
A test conducted two hours after the crash found Taylor’s blood alcohol level to be .18.
In 2007, Taylor pleaded no contest to a reckless driving conviction. Taylor’s plea agreement required him to sign a statement stating that he could be charged with murder in the future if someone died as a result of his drinking and driving.
During a pre-sentencing interview with the county probation department, Taylor admitted to having a drinking problem. He said that hard alcohol had made him confrontational and had changed his personality.
Taylor, who has a fiancée and a 1-year-old daughter, received a near-maximum sentence. For his convictions, Taylor faced a sentence ranging from 16 months to four years and eight months.
During trial, Taylor’s attorney argued that Evans was actually the driver of the ATV. However, investigators found Taylor’s DNA on the driver’s side and Evans’s DNA on the passenger side.
Taylor said he had no recollection of the accident.