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Las Vegas man sentenced for crash that killed 3 pedestrians

A Las Vegas man must serve up to 60 years in prison for causing a wreck that killed three pedestrians and injured three others, a judge ruled Monday.

The pedestrians — 19-year-old Jazzy Unique Smith and 49-year-old Carrie Charlotte Williams-Smith of North Las Vegas and 69-year-old Charlene Emerson of Las Vegas — died in December 2017 after being struck while crossing Eastern Avenue near Flamingo Road.

District Judge Ron Israel ordered Daniel Becker, 32, to serve a minimum of 21 years behind bars before he is eligible for parole.

Relatives of the victims wept as the judge handed down the sentence.

Williams-Smith’s daughter and Smith’s sister, Latoya Pasillas, told the judge that “every day is a reminder that they’re not here. (Becker) should be held accountable. He knew better. He knew what was wrong.”

Becker’s attorney, Bret Whipple, had asked the judge for a minimum of four years in prison, arguing that Becker had suffered an epileptic seizure before the crash.

But prosecutor Thomas Moskal said Becker had nine times the legal limit of marijuana in his system and had surrendered his license three months prior after telling police he suffered a seizure before a crash.

In the December 2017 wreck, police said Becker hit two cars before striking the pedestrians, then hit three more cars.

The first crash happened near Eastern and Viking avenues, where Becker rear-ended a Ford Mustang. Becker then continued to drive south on Eastern toward Flamingo Road, where he crashed into the back of another car.

Next, he struck the three pedestrians, who were crossing Eastern in a crosswalk. Then he hit a nearby SUV before barreling into two stopped cars, critically injuring one driver.

Debris struck at least five other cars.

At the time of the crash, Becker had warrants for several minor traffic violations from between 2005 and 2009.

Clark County court records indicate that Becker pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of stolen property in 2005, but police said that locally, he had no other major criminal history.

Becker apologized to the family of the victims.

“I take all responsibility and consequences,” he said.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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