Plea due in car crash that killed 3

April 05, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

Donny Eugene Simms, the Mount Airy youth charged with driving a stolen car in which three teen-agers died in a crash in Carroll County in June, is expected to enter into a plea bargain with prosecutors today.

No details of the plea deal were available yesterday.

But Carroll County Circuit Court records and sources familiar with the case said yesterday that prosecutors and Donny Simms had reached an agreement to settle three counts of automobile manslaughter and other charges filed against the South Carroll High School student.

State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman declined to comment on the expected plea, and Donny's attorney, William T. Wood of Rockville, did not return phone calls yesterday.

Arthur Simms, Donny's father, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

In addition to the automobile manslaughter charges, the 17-year-old is charged as an adult with three counts of homicide by motor vehicle while intoxicated, felony theft, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated and speeding.

The charges carry sentences of more than 45 years.

For months, the trial had been scheduled to be heard before a Carroll jury. But in a routine response card that is used to confirm trial dates, Mr. Wood indicated the case would not be heard before a jury.

On the response card, he said that the case would be "a court trial."

On the part of the card that indicates how much time he and his client would need to present their case, Mr. Wood wrote, "plea."

Eight teen-agers were in a stolen car when it crashed June 6 near a bridge on Liberty Road near the Liberty Reservoir. Six were thrown onto the road as the car went out of control and flipped onto its roof.

Dead at the scene were best friends Dink Diggs of Mount Airy and Christopher Norris of Marriottsville, and Donny Simms' sister, Donna, all 15.

Some of the teen-agers had been drinking before the accident.

In accounts confirmed by state police, two survivors of the crash told The Sun that the stolen car was being driven at speeds up to 110 mph.

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