TORRINGTON, Wyo. — A Cheyenne man pleaded no contest this week to charges in a crash that killed two Nebraska women.
Ethan Kaufman, 22, entered pleas Monday to two felony counts of aggravated homicide by vehicle and two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and causing serious bodily injury in connection with a Jan. 9 crash.
Goshen County Attorney Patrick Korell said evidence and witness interviews showed that Kaufman had been the driver in a crash that killed two Scottsbluff women, Hallie Anderson, 19, and Alexis Wheeler, 18. Two other passengers, Tyler Hill, 19, and Stetson Allen, 23, both of Lyman, Neb., were seriously injured.
At the time of the accident, Korrell said in court, Kaufman's blood alcohol level exceeded the legal limit and he had been driving at 99 miles per hour while texting.
Judge Keith Kautz ordered Kaufman into custody pending sentencing. Kaufman's attorney had argued for Kaufman, who had posted $50,000 bail, to remain free, but Korell argued that the seriousness of the crime and anticipated jail sentence necessitated taking him into custody.
A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after a presentence investigation is conducted.
Kaufman could receive up to 60 years in prison if sentenced to the maximum on each charge. On the aggravated homicide charge, Kaufman faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If convicted on the DUI charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $2,000 to $5,000.